In the final chapter of The Marseille Trilogy, Marcel Pagnol returns his compassionate gaze to his weathered characters as they discover the possibility of reconciliation and the durability of love. Leaping forward twenty years, the trilogy continues with the death of Fanny’s husband, Panisse, and the discovery of her secret by her son, Césariot. The young man resolves to track down his biological father, Marius, whose life has been fraught with calamity and poverty. The only film in the trilogy written expressly for the screen and directed by Pagnol, César
resolves the protagonists’ star-crossed destinies with the garrulous wit and understated naturalism that have made this epic love story a landmark of humanist filmmaking.