Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. In honor of Mother’s Day, this week’s Spotlight is the movie, “My Mother’s Castle” (1990):
A man looks back to the days of his youth in the early days of the twentieth century. The man is Marcel Pagnol. A boy and his family spends the holidays in Provence. Marcel is 13 or 14 years old. He goes there with his mother, Augustine, and his father, Joseph, a school teacher, his younger brother, Paul, and his baby sister. There they have a glorious time.
There the family relaxes with Oncle Jules and Tante Rose. Marcel runs free in the hills and meets a local boy, Lili. Lili’s family is poor and he traps animals to help feed his family. They become friends.
One holiday, he has his first encounter with love.He meets a young girl, Isabelle, who is a bit stuck on herself. They play “I’m the Queen and you’re the Knight”. She plays the piano. Eventually he becomes disillusioned with the girl. And that breaks his heart.
The family falls so much in love with the place they decide to return on weekends, not just on holiday. It is a four hour walk from public transportation. One afternoon they encounter one of Joseph’s former students. He is a canal worker. He offers to show the family a pathway by the canals. This will cut their walk down to a half hour.
The film may focus on Marcel and his adventures and the troubles the father may or may not have. But it is the mother who holds the family together as mothers often do.
Directed by Yves Robert, “My Mother’s Castle” is a wonderful tribute to family and our memories of some of the best days of our lives. When we were young and our parents were the center of our universe. Watch “My Mother’s Castle” and soak it up. You too will fall in love with this wonderful family.
And if you love “My Mother’s Castle”, you will want to see “My Father’s Glory”, which precedes it.