Back to Burgundy Film Review

By Wun Kuen Ng

It was once said, “we give children roots then wings.” In the film, Back to Burgundy, I was touch by this quiet French film as it shows how three siblings are brought back together on their family vineyard by their father’s illness and have to navigate the vicissitudes of life changes after the death of their father. In four seasons and two harvests, against the lush backdrop of the rows and rows of grape vines, Jean (Pio Marmai), the black sheep of the family who travelled the world for ten years, learns to reconcile the wounded child within on the family vineyard, Juliette (Ana Girardot) learns to trust her judgment to make the best wine, and Jeremie (Francois Civil) learns to stand up for himself. The three siblings reinvent their relationship as adults and try to keep the family and the business in tact.

I find myself crying with Juliette, performed brilliantly by Ana Girardot, when she is sobbing at the news of the father’s death and remembering him while she is driving the tracker down the road. Jean’s anger toward his father comes through as he remembers his versions of childhood. Jeremie have to make decisions between his siblings and his in-laws. The family drama depicted in the film is relatable, including the comical scenes.

It was fascinating to see the demystification of the wine process on a family run vineyard, from maintenance of the land, to the harvest of the grapes, and ultimately wine tasting.

I recommend seeing the film; children do grow up, have wings and fly to make their own home.

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