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La maison des bois 

Realistic chronicle of everyday life during the Great War. A ranger collects in his family several Parisian children refugees because of the conflict. All share the life of the country village, the school, the news from the front.
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2015   1971  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Pierre Doris Pierre Doris ...  Albert / ... 6 episodes, 1971
Jacqueline Dufranne Jacqueline Dufranne ...  Jeanne / ... 6 episodes, 1971
Agathe Natanson Agathe Natanson ...  Marguerite / ... 6 episodes, 1971
Fernand Gravey ...  Le marquis / ... 6 episodes, 1971
Alexandre Rignault ...  Birot / ... 6 episodes, 1971
Henri Saulquin Henri Saulquin ...  Le Bedeau / ... 5 episodes, 1971
Hervé Lévy Hervé Lévy ...  Les enfants: Hervé / ... 5 episodes, 1971
Michel Terrazon Michel Terrazon ...  Les enfants: Michel / ... 5 episodes, 1971
Albert Martinez Albert Martinez ...  Les enfants: Bébert / ... 5 episodes, 1971
Ovila Légaré ...  Le curé 5 episodes, 1971
Jean Mauvais Jean Mauvais ...  Mahu 5 episodes, 1971
Albert Michel Albert Michel ...  Cottin 5 episodes, 1971
Henri Puff Henri Puff ...  Marcel 4 episodes, 1971
Charles Mallone Charles Mallone ...  Le lieutenant 4 episodes, 1971
Dominique Maurin Dominique Maurin ...  Le facteur 4 episodes, 1971
Michel Tugot-Doris Michel Tugot-Doris ...  Le sergent 4 episodes, 1971
Marie-Christine Boulard Marie-Christine Boulard ...  Mme Pouilly / ... 4 episodes, 1971
Micha Bayard Micha Bayard ...  Mme Latour / ... 4 episodes, 1971
Paul Crauchet ...  Paul Gardy, le père d'Hervé 3 episodes, 1971
Maurice Pialat ...  L'instituteur 3 episodes, 1971
Philippe André Philippe André ...  Jacques 3 episodes, 1971
Marcel Derache Marcel Derache ...  Un permissionnaire 3 episodes, 1971
Yves Laumet Yves Laumet ...  Le permissionnaire 3 episodes, 1971
Pierre Duncan Pierre Duncan ...  Un gendarme 3 episodes, 1971
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Storyline

Realistic chronicle of everyday life during the Great War. A ranger collects in his family several Parisian children refugees because of the conflict. All share the life of the country village, the school, the news from the front.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

11 September 1971 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The House in the Woods See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(7 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Trois beaux oiseaux de paradis
By Maurice Ravel
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User Reviews

 
A TV series like no other
21 July 2008 | by nmegaheySee all my reviews

Set in the French countryside during the Great War of 1914-18 Pialat's extraordinary seven episode TV serial extends the themes of his debut feature L'Enfance Nue, the director however having much more freedom and time to explore the nature of childhood and the impact on children abandoned by their parents. The series focuses on the experiences of three children (including even Michel Tarrazon, the young star of the earlier movie) living out in the country with gamekeeper Albert and Maman Jeanne on the country estate of a Marquis. The gamekeeper and his wife have their own older children, Marcel and Marguerite, but the three boys have been sent there by their parents who have been caught up in the war, the fathers called up to the front, the mothers simply unable to look after them in the present climate.

Pialat would claim that La Maison des Bois was his best work, and it's not difficult to see why he would think so, the director having unprecedented freedom to direct his vision - so unlike anything else in conventional French cinema let alone television shows of the period - over an inexperienced crew, and indulge his technique over 6 hours of long naturalistic takes where very little of importance seems to happen. It's certainly a bit rough around the edges in a lot of places, but simple and unostentatious, always finding the truth in the moment. Long sections of entire episodes are given over to extended scenes of picnics or of the family and children bathing outdoors in a bathtub, and particularly children playing, the director managing to capture in them the rhythms of life and the warmth of family relationships. When the real drama of the war and family loss does intrude into their lives, it is then done with subtlety and has all the more impact, the pain seeming to be felt by real people with real lives.

The theme of lost children is consequently also extended out to those young boys sent to die in the trenches, Pialat achieving the full import of the situation on the community without actually having to go to the front, contrasting for example the picnic on Episode 3 with a bivouac in Episode 4, and in a sinister war game played by the children that is a premonition of the death to come. Even the joy of the Armistice at the star of Episode 6 is tempered with the incredibly poignant and sad scenes of the children's return to Paris. Pialat's later films would delve deeper into life, love, death and relationships but they are all here to some extent in La Maison des Bois, with the same sense of complete authenticity, but seen very much here from the perspective of a young child.


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