french films > Mondovino



cast: Hubert De Montille, Aime Guibert, Robert Parker, Michel Rolland, Neal Rosenthal

year: 2004

colour: no


director: Jonathan Nossiter

runtime: 0

Jonathan Nossiter (whose second feature Sunday became a big festival hit) trained as a sommelier, and his expertise in and love of all things oenological come across loud and clear in this engrossing documentary. It's about the world of wine-making, tasting and marketing and - this is where the film really gets interesting - how that world relates to wider economic, social and political forces. Those devoted to traditional documentary methods may occasionally find the digital camera style a little too restless in its curiosity, and wine buffs may already know about some of the characters and issues dealt with in the film, but it's hard to imagine anyone not being fascinated by the colourful folk Nossiter interviews, let alone by the conflicts and contrasts he uncovers between them. What slowly but surely emerges is an account not only of progressive globalisation, but of unashamed political expediency, with vignerons and merchants alike readily admitting to having got along well enough with oppressive regimes of every hue. A cautionary tale, then, but also a celebration, likely to leave you thirsting for more. Year of release in the UK: 2004


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