ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY
A film by Rodolphe Marconi
Produced by : Black Dynamite Production
Directed by : Rodolphe Marconi
Genre : documentary
Duration : 85’
Cyrille is thirty years old, works every day and hardly ever goes on holiday. He tries to make a living by turning their milk into butter that he sells at markets. And despite his endless days, Cyrille is on the edge of a financial ruin. Debts keep accumulating and the bank demands repayment. Cyrille doesn’t know what to do anymore. Give up or continue at all costs …
watch the trailer
MEET THE DIRECTOR
After a short stint at the Beaux-Arts, Rodolphe Marconi began his work as a director with a short film called ‘STOP’, for which he received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999.
He was then a boarder at Villa Medici for one year. There, he shot his first feature film ‘DEFENSE D’AIMER’ (LOVE FORBIDDEN) in which he played the main role.
Returning to France, he directed ‘CECI EST MON CORPS’ (THIS IS MY BODY) with Louis Garrel, Melanie Laurent and Jane Birkin.
Two years later, he filmed ‘LE DERNIER JOUR’ (THE LAST DAY) with Gaspard Ulliel, Melanie Laurent and Nicole Garcia.
In 2008, he embarked on a journey with Karl Lagerfeld, following him nonstop for two years in order to produce the documentary entitled ‘LAGERFELD CONFIDENTIAL’, which was released in cinemas worldwide.
NOTE OF INTENTION
“The film is an intimate depiction, an immersion in Cyrille’s life, without a filter.
I’m on my own with just a camera and a microphone, no film crew. I become Cyrille’s shadow from sunrise to sunset, for several months. It’s the only way to really get inside his life, to get closer to the truth.
With this film, I am depicting what inspired me to make it: the injustices of the agricultural world in our times.”
MEET THE DIRECTOR
THE ORIGINS OF THE DOCUMENTARY
For three days, on a beach on the Atlantic coast, a guy wades in the sea up to the knees, but no more. He never swims. This afternoon, I ask him:
“Why don’t you swim?
Just jump in. You'll see,
it’s not cold.”
He tells me he can’t swim. I ask him where he comes from. Cyrille is 30 years old. He is a dairy farmer in Auvergne, France. This is the first time he has gone on vacation, but his father is against it. Cyrille has never seen the sea. Marc, his best friend, planned the trip. He hired a tent on a campsite, 300€ for the week, and convinced Cyrille to come along. Cyrille needed to organize himself. Who would take care of the cows for a week? His father? No way, he is no longer in a fit state. And why going on holidays?
“Vacations are for lazy people”,
his father tells him.
In the end, he managed to find two nearby farmers to help him out. Since he returned from his week of vacation, his father has been in a huff with him. Cyrille took over the family farm six years ago. His two brothers turned down their parents’ offer, so he was left with no choice: it had to be him. Since then, he gets up every morning at 5 a.m., from Monday to Sunday. No days off, no holidays. For him, one day is just like the next and follows the same routine. Every morning, milking, then skimming, then cleaning/raking, then the butter… In the evening, it starts again, milking, skimming, butter. It stretches on until at least 11 p.m., often until midnight.
And despite all this work, he still can’t pay himself a salary.
Every three days, Sodiaal comes to buy his milk for 30 cents a liter. Sodiaal had a turnover of 5.4 billion euros in 2017. I ask him how he manages to live, to eat, to sleep. He lives with his father in a small house facing the barn. His mother died last May. But he can’t talk about it, it makes him cry. For the burial, he had to somehow find 2,000€. In the end, it was his best friend, Marc, who lent him the money. “You’ll give it back to me one day if you can. If you can’t, I don’t care,” he said. In the evening, to get to bed, Cyrille has to go through his father’s room. No privacy, no life.
Every three years, he buys a pair of sneakers.
He sells the butter on Saturday mornings at the market of Noirétable, a neighboring village.
“I make 50 Euros from my butter”.
When I ask him about his love-life, the answer is clear: “Well, I’m gay, so…”
A few hours after meeting with CyrilLE, I had the urge to make a film about him. It came over me, without really giving me a choice.
ABOUT AGRICULTURE IN FRANCE
France is European Union’s largest agricultural power (before Germany and Italy)
2016 turnover in the industry (19% of European production)
Farmers in France in 2016, among which 50% are more than 50 years old
Hectare of utilized agricultural area
Drop of the agricultural contribution to GDP
Growth monthly income for half of the farmers in 2016
Growth rate of the farmer bankruptcy
Number of farm bankruptcies in 2016
Of those bankruptcy concerns breeding
Number of professional retraining per year
Of the farmers are single
Farmer kills himself every 2 days in France