Explain how Manon des sources represents French cinema at its era. What social phenomenon does the film reflect (what theme/main idea is being delivered by the film)?

Claude Berri's use of characterization to explore the multiple dimensions of human emotions in Manon des sources was groundbreaking in 1980s French cinema, which was trying to compete with the global appeal of American films. The movie explores themes of love, guilt, and revenge, and Berri suggests that there is a karmic nature to justice.

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Manon des sources was one of the highest grossing films in the history of French cinema. The film is the sequel to Jean de Florette and takes place ten years after the first story, although it was released just three months later. The narratives of both films are directly connected and must be watched in their proper order.

Manon des sources is a raw, realistic tragedy that suggests a karmic nature to justice and depicts love, lust, and loss in an honest way. The audience sees many dimensions to the characters as Manon seeks revenge for her father, Jean, and Ugolin and César navigate life conscious of their role in Jean’s demise. Overall, the movie explores themes of self-destruction, guilt, revenge, and passion.

Berri’s departure from hyper-theatrics attracted a new wave of theatergoers, which was necessary for France in this period. In the 1980s, French cinema was struggling to keep up with the global interest of American films and needed a new engrossing approach to cinema. Berri’s focus on characterization and the complexity of human emotions made Manon des sources stand out both in France and with international audiences. Berri’s use of duology was also groundbreaking and marked a new era of achievement in French cinema.

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