Running a Family Farm is a short film released by the French musical duo The Inspector Cluzo. I’d not heard of the band until seeing this film, so I was thankful for the caption at the start, which informs that they are a “Self-financed indie rock band who have played more than 1,200 gigs in 65 countries over 15 years.” Equally interesting is the fact that they are also farmers on their Lou Casse agro-ecological autarcic farm. The latter information is the focal point of this film; in fact, we hear very little of their music, making it clear where their priorities lie in the release of this short.
Throughout the 20 minutes running time Laurent, who is the guitarist and vocalist of the band, reveals a great deal of information about the importance of ecological farming, using their site as an illustration of how to do it right. Drummer Mathieu is less vocal but no less committed.
Beautiful photography, often through a bizarre fish-eye lens, shows idyllic French rural living, from the hard labour of herding sheep, ploughing fields, and gathering corn, to those huge family meals around the farmhouse kitchen table. Each stage of production is explained thoroughly, and the importance of their work is backed up by local vet and teacher at vet school, Jean-Luc Guerin and neighbouring retired farmers, Daniel and Alain, who look like they have come straight from a Louis Malle film.
The Cluzos come from a good place and have major concerns about the future of eco-farming. Planning ahead for when they have passed on, they invite local teenagers to come and tend the land with them in the hope that one day they will take over.
Short glimpses into their other life are seen through brief rehearsal footage, Laurent blowing a saxophone across a field, and interviews with producer Vance Powell (Raconteurs, Jack White), who refers to the Cluzos as his brothers.
We hear a sample of their music over the closing images of the documentary, and the band is heavier than their rustic image would suggest.
With all the work to do on the farm, it is hard to believe that they have time to create music, let alone tour the world with it, but these two are special and completely committed to what they do.
This is a heart-warming film that gives us hope and inspiration to tend to the veg patch and contribute to the future of the planet and to listen to their brilliant music online.
The Inspector Cluzo are currently undertaking a European and UK Tour. More information and ticket details can be found on their official website.
Director: Yan Sourigues
Producer: Yan Sourigues
Starring: The Inspector Cluzo
Distributed by: Duff Press
Release Date: June 26, 2023
Run Time: 20 minutes