The Southerner

Jean Renoir | 1945 | ★★★
A hardworking cotton picker decides to strike out on his own and grow his own crops, aided by his dedicated wife, cantankerous grandmother, and two small children. However, inhospitable neighbours, nutritional ignorance, ill-health, and inclement weather hamper their progress no end. Never the less, no matter how much heartache and bad luck are thrown their way, they strive on undaunted towards their goal of self-sufficiency (and the freedom that it brings). Renoir’s enjoyable, well-crafted film is perhaps a little too light-hearted in tone to be totally successful, never really proving as affecting as its subject matter would suggest that it should be. That said, there’s much to enjoy along the way – not least a rather incongruous, but decidedly welcome, barroom brawl.