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Less a sequel than a seamless continuation of its predecessor, Jean de Florette, Manon of the Spring brings with it a more epic scope as it depicts the growth to womanhood of the daughter (Emmanuelle Béart) of the doomed farmer of the first film. As she discovers the truth of what happened to her father as a result of the scheming of their neighbor (Yves Montand), who took the land for himself, she vows revenge, realizing that the neighbor's deeds have irrevocably shaped the course of her life. Her moves toward avenging her father's demise provide an ironic twist to this harsh and thought-provoking saga, and French director Claude Berri perfectly illustrates the lasting consequences of deceit, greed, and revenge. Manon of the Spring is a very special foreign film choice, destined to be revered for years to come. --Robert Lane
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