Sons of the Land

On a farm in the Pyre­nees, a few plain, func­tion­al build­ings, some pieces of equip­ment lying in the mud. In the cow barn, Sebastien Itard is hard at work. When the film­mak­er first met him, he said it was like seeing his own father: the same pinched expres­sion and ben­tover pos­ture from hard work. His father was also a live­stock farmer, who took his own life after he got into eco­nom­ic trou­ble – just like 400–800 other farm­ers in France every year. With half a mil­lion euros of debt on his shoul­ders, Sebastien Itard has a grow­ing family with soon four chil­dren to feed. His retired father still helps out on the farm but is con­stant­ly crit­i­ciz­ing him. SONS OF THE LAND fol­lows a year–and-a-half of dra­mat­ic events on the Itard farm. In between, the film­mak­er often flash­es back to his own family’s story, thus draw­ing par­al­lels between the fates of farm­ers and prob­lema­tiz­ing an agri­cul­tur­al system that lets them work like slaves for 15 hours a day for a month­ly income of 150 euro.