When an auction is held in her village in Brittany, Marie takes the opportunity to sell the barroom counter from her bistro, which she’s closing down so she can retire to Brest. It is bought by Joelle, a woman from the city who owns a cottage in the area, and a girlfriend of hers. As Joelle drives away with the counter tied to the roof of her car, she is unaware that she is carrying off a chunk of the past. As the strange convoy makes its way through the countryside, it catches the eye of various locals, who stop what they’re doing and tag along discreetly in its wake. With the help of her neighbor, old Jean, Joelle installs the bar in her home. The object brings back distant memories to Jean. He first met Marie in 1912...
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Never in the history of Brittany have its people been filmed at such close quarters, anchored to their land, their sea or the bistro where they toss back a last drink to thicken their shells just a little bit more. A story told in few words and with restrained emotion, “Marie’s Counter” is the antithesis of Parisian soul-searching sagas. In a still small voice, it tells one life story and hints at others. “I love the simple folk who get tangled up in life”, Sophie Tatischeff . (“Libération”, September 9th 1998)