Opening 1 Sep 2016
This documentary follows a group of 20 women and men who have gathered as seasonal workers on a vineyard in the South of France. Although all have come together for a common purpose, the harvest and a pay packet, as individuals their diversity shines through but also their commonality. During these few weeks of manual labour we glimpse the tough gathering of the produce we enjoy.
These divergent labourers are made up of students, unemployed, middle aged, idealistic and some downtrodden by life. Their interactions with each other are driven from such diverse viewpoints and experiences of life that you cannot help being drawn into their ecosystem for a few days. As they share their view on their employment, their bosses and the conditions they must work under, it is clear the impact of this type of ubiquitous work has on the worker.
Whether your affinity lies with the middle aged men who have had a hard life, the idealistic nature lovers who have chosen this life on the land, or perhaps the students working before the new study year, you will find some spark of recognition. If not with the people themselves with the fruit of their labour: French wine.
Vendanges received the 2014 Healthy Workplaces Film Award at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (DOZ Leipzig). The Jury’s statement for this winning film is, ‘A special community is described through impressive images in the style of an impressionist painting, producing a complete film with strong detail – true to nature and true to its protagonists.’ (Christine Riney)