BACK TO BURGUNDY

"Working Together as a Family Brings Reconciliation and Renewal"

Quality:
Content: -2 Discretion advised for adults.
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

What You Need To Know:

BACK TO BURGUNDY is a beautifully shot French drama. Taking place over four seasons, it tells the story of three estranged siblings forced to reunite after their father’s death and to determine the future of the family’s vineyard. Jean, the oldest son and black sheep, returns home after a 10-year absence in Australia, where he’s been living with his girlfriend. Juliette, the middle child, has sacrificed a family of her own to oversee the family vineyard with her father. Jeremie, the youngest, has developed a life of his own with his wife and newborn baby, but still lives close enough to help Juliette when needed. The three siblings are no longer close.

BACK TO BURGUNDY is a joy to watch. Peaceful classical music accompanies majestic views of the countryside and the vineyard. The acting is natural and engaging, making the story easy to follow. Best of all, BACK TO BURGUNDY has a strong Christian, redemptive worldview about love lost and regained through forgiveness, sacrifice and working together. However, extreme caution is advised because of strong foul language, brief nudity, drunkenness, and sexual immorality.

Content:

(CC, BB, Pa, Ab, LL, V, SS, NN, AA, D, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Christian, moral worldview involving an archetypal Prodigal Son story about a son who left returns home and is welcome back while the son that never left and chose to help his father receives no party or praise, the eventual reconciliation of three siblings when they work together on the family vineyards after their father dies, people bow their heads in prayer at a Christian funeral, and elements promoting compassion, forgiveness, reconciliation, family bonds, sacrifice, and repentance, mitigated by some hedonistic, pagan, immoral behavior;

Foul Language:
18 obscenities (some “f” words), no profanities and two obscene gestures;

Violence:
Brief light violence such as vineyard workers throw grapes violently at each other and protagonist gets in neighbor’s face and shoves and threatens him, but no bloodshed, guns or heavy violence;

Sex:
Implied fornication, protagonist lives with girlfriend and has a child with her, sister recently moved out from living with her boyfriend, unmarried couple kisses and touch each other inappropriately after a night of heavy drinking at a party, couple lie in bed together;

Nudity:
Brief nudity of a woman’s breast and backside cuddling next to a naked man, man’s leg, back and rear end are displayed on screen;

Alcohol Use:
Heavy alcohol use, family drinks wine daily at all hours of the day while working at the vineyard, family members drink wine when they feel down and depressed, parents let their young children under the age of ten drink wine, vineyard owners over serve their workers wine at a party, workers get drunk, dance on tables, and drunkenness leads to sexual activity;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Lots of smoking but no drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Strong miscellaneous immortality including lying, greed, shame, bad role models, and dysfunctional family portrayals, but many issues are resolved in a positive way at the end.

More Detail:

BACK TO BURGUNDY is a French movie that captures the landscape of southern France beautifully. No matter what the viewer thinks about the movie, one thing is for certain: they will not forget the photographic pictures of the majestic landscape found in Burgundy, France. (One may also leave this movie yearning for a glass of wine.)

After their father falls ill, his three children are forced to reunite over his hospital bed. Jean, the oldest son, returns home after a five-year absence. This causes a swirl of mixed emotions among the family. The ill father is grateful for his son’s presence, but the younger son is angry his beloved brother left without calling or visiting. The sister, the middle child and peacemaker in the family, is torn between wanting to forgive her older brother’s absence and holding it against him while she was forced to run the family vineyard.

Shortly after Jean’s arrival, the father dies. After the funeral, the siblings come together to learn the outcome of their father’s will. Instead of dividing the property evenly among them, he has created a system of democracy stating (in his will) no decision can be made about the home and family vineyard unless all three children agree. The siblings are stuck in a pool of disagreement. Jean wants to sell the land and use the money to provide for his live-in girlfriend and five-year-old son in Australia. Juliette wants to keep the vineyard and continue selling and distributing wine. Finally, Jeremie wants to sell half the land to the neighbors and keep a portion for them. The siblings, who struggle to come to an agreement about the land, decide to take some time to think about it on their own.

During this period of reflection, they are forced to continue making the wine for their livelihood. The movie depicts the process of winemaking step by step with wonderful, detailed visuals. Viewers see the long harvest and hard work that goes into making a bottle of wine from the growing of the grapes, cutting the grapes, squishing them in buckets, storing them in barrels, bottling them, and eventually trying them. After the strenuous process, the siblings throw a big feast for their employees.

At the party, the siblings drink excess amounts of wine and dance all night long. The brothers laugh and joke all night together while Juliette slips off to make out with a boy at the party.

The next day, the tension among the three siblings has passed. Even better, through the long wine making process they endured together, they all have come to see how much they value, need and love one another.

Juliette slips away and calls Jean’s long-term girlfriend, without his knowledge, and invites her to the family vineyard as she can see how much her brother misses her and his son. The next week she comes to the family farm. She unites with Jean, forgives him for leaving her suddenly and staying gone for months at his family home in France.

During this time, Jean breaks down and confesses how hurt he felt for so many years because his father never told him he was proud of him nor did he respond to a very personal letter Jean wrote him before he left. Jeremie reveals a letter he finds in their deceased father’s coat pocket. It’s the answer to Jean’s letter, which explains how much his father did love his son and how sorry he was for all the years he was so hard on his oldest son.

In the end [SPOILERS FOLLOW], the siblings come to an agreement about the family vineyard. Jean makes a deal with a nearby wine maker to rent out a small portion of the family vineyard so they can keep the vineyard going until they earn enough to afford the property fees among themselves. Juliette becomes the head winemaker in the family and is granted permission to control the wine’s quality and taste of the wine. Jermeie finds the strength to stand up to his opinionated father-in-law and move his wife and child out of their home into their own place. Jean moves back to Australia with his live-in girlfriend and child explaining he has two homes now and agrees to split his time between them and the vineyard.

BACK TO BURGUNDY is a joy to watch with its epic visuals and peaceful classical music singing alongside the majestic views of the countryside and vineyard. The acting among the French actors is natural and engaging, making the story easy to follow despite the French subtitles. This movie also depicts the wine making process spot on and is a perfect movie for veteran and aspiring wine lovers. Best of all, it features a Prodigal Son story that also depicts three estranged siblings reconciling with one another. As such, BACK TO BURGUNDY contains a Christian funeral scene where people bow their heads to pray. It also promotes compassion, forgiveness, reconciliation, renewing family bonds, sacrifice, and repentance.

Despite the engaging, redemptive story and breathtaking shots, however, BACK TO BURGUNDY has some strong foul language, brief nudity, alcohol abuse, and other immoral behavior. So, extreme caution is advised. BACK TO BURGUNDY is definitely not a suitable foreign language movie for children or teenagers.

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