“For me, this film reveals a new cinematographic language. As far as I know, a director has never committed, with such obstinacy, to the cinematographic representation of a region: that is to say, to the difficult communion between men, landscapes, and the seasons. Only a foolish poet could produce such a disquieting object.”

Jean Rouch1


“I can tell you that we never shot with a peasant, a child or an old person, without having first become his pal or his friend. This seemed to us an essential point, in order to be able to work and so that there weren’t problems with the machines. When we began shooting with them, the camera was already a kind of little pet, like a toy or a cooking utensil, that didn’t scare them. So using their lights in their homes or setting up reflectors in the fields to have indirect light wasn’t a problem. It was a sort of game at the same time. So it was possible to insist on certain things, most often with tenderness. And if we were having a problem, they understood very well. A very important thing: they were able to confirm from our work that we were also ‘peasants of the cinema’, because it sometimes happened that we were working sixteen, eighteen hours a day, and I think that they liked seeing us working. And when we needed them to continue working with us, even while leaving the animals without food or the children without care, they didn’t feel, I think, it was a constraint. It was admirable to see this."

António Reis2