Author(s): PAGNOL, MARCEL
In a rural French village an old man and his only remaining relative cast their covetous eyes on an adjoining vacant property. They need its spring water to grow their own flowers and crops, so are dismayed to hear that a new owner is moving in. They block up the spring and watch as their new neighbour, Jean, tries to keep his crops watered from wells far afield throughout the hot summer. Though they see his desperate efforts are breaking his health and his wife and daughter's hearts, they turn a blind eye as events reach a tragic conclusion. Manon des Sources picks up the thread ten years on as Jean's daughter, Manon, now a beautiful woman, discovers her neighbours' heartless actions and seeks to avenge her father's death. Originally published as a two-part novel in 1962, entitled L'Eau des Collines (Water of the Hills), it was later adapted into award-winning films by Claude Berri in 1987. Jean de Florette and its sequel Manon des Sources were both set against the sun-splashed landscapes of Provence and starred Yves Montand, Daniel Auteil, Gerard Depardieu and Emmanuelle Beart.
Marcel Pagnol (1895-1974) was born in Aubagne, France and had a brilliant literary and film career which made him one of the most respected creative talents in France. He was the first filmmaker elected to the Academie Francaise and a highly-regarded playwright. Pagnol was perhaps best-known to international audiences for his novels Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources which were later adapted by Claude Berri to great acclaim.