This film is the suspenseful conclusion to French director Claude Berri’s monumental screen interpretation of Marcel Pagnol’s The Water of the Hills. In this sequel to Jean de Florette, Cesar (Yves Montand), a rich landowner, and his nephew Ugolin (Daniel Auteui) are prospering after depriving a neighbor of the water on his land and playing a part in his untimely demise. Manon (Emmanuelle Beart), the betrayed man’s daughter, is now a shepherdess in the mountain region. When she sees the chance to avenge herself on these greedy and malevolent men, she does so.
”There is no poetry outside of the commonplace,” novelist Pagnol once observed. This film is lyrical in its portrait of passion, revenge, and remorse. Yves Montand gives a towering performance as the cunning, willful, and manipulative patriarch of a clan without a male heir. Fate deals him a devastating blow in the dramatic finale of Manon of the Spring. This is an old-fashioned movie about destiny that hammers its points across with great cinematic and emotional authority.