» » Provenance (2017)

Short summary

John Finch has fled to his holiday home in the south of France to start a new way of life. Whilst waiting for his younger lover Sophia to join him, a seemingly chance encounter with a man called Peter will threaten to destroy everything.

The film was shot in only 15 days - 12 days in the South of France and 3 in the U.K. - with a total cast and crew of 20. The film was completed in just over a year.

The song 'Come Back' was written exclusively for the film. The song's composer, Paul Handley, has a property in Entrecasteaux (where a lot of the film was photographed) and was contacted by the film's producer, Amanda Atkins, when she was looking for a place to stay and cook food for the cast & crew.

The film has no score as such, but music features very heavily in key sequences. All of the pieces used are original recordings.

Amanda Atkins, the film's producer, also cooked all of the food for the cast and crew in France and is credited as Chef in the film's credits.

Harry Macqueen, who plays Peter in the film, is the director of the critically acclaimed feature film Hinterland, which was photographed by Ben Hecking. Helen Miles also worked on that film as the sound recordist and designer.

Whilst filming in Entrecasteaux, the crew were helped by the local police force who would stop traffic on the main road whilst filming took place.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Steamy Ibis
    The acting was excellent and the typical Provençal surrounding makes this an enjoyable moment. It reminded me of my summers spent in the south of France.

    The story is hiding an unbearable truth, making the movie memorable. It, no doubt, will generate future debate on life, middle life crisis, existentialism as well as the fragile equilibrium of our lives if they become disjointed.

    I was especially impressed by Charlotte Vega's acting and hope to see her again on the screen.
  • comment
    • Author: Kitaxe
    An Englishman is staying in a quiet provincial town in southern France. He's entering middle age and he's at a crossroads in his life. A classical pianist, his early promise has not been sustained. His marriage has collapsed in acrimony.

    A young woman walks into the town, a luminous figure in white. It is Sophia, for whom the Englishman is waiting.

    Ben Hecking's gripping film 'Provenance' explores the attraction between an older man who has known disappointment and a young woman on the verge of maturity. For him she holds a promise of love and renewal — and she's as much an ideal as she is real.

    Ben Hecking is a rare talent in film-making, a director who is also a cinematographer. On 'Provenance' he excels in both areas. The tempo and depth of the drama are underscored by Hecking's atmospheric imagery, with expert editing by Andonis Trattos.

    'Provenance' is remarkable for building deep characterisations but with economical use of language. This is the type of 'pure cinema' that Hitchcock spoke about, which uses mainly visual cues to put the audience into the mind of the characters.

    Christian McKay delivers a compelling performance as John Finch, the reserved musician who has given too much to his music. As the action starts, we find him an outsider in the French town and without direction in his life. A chance encounter with another English visitor, played with edgy skill by Harry Macqueen, builds the sense of unease.

    With Sophia's arrival, John's character becomes warmer and more relaxed. Yet Christian McKay shows us the checks that are hard-wired into John's personality, making it impossible for him to open out fully — in contrast to the spontaneous, ardent Sophia.

    Charlotte Vega creates a radiant portrait of Sophia, a free spirit who follows her impulses and exposes herself to great damage. With her psychological insight and instinctive command of character, Ms Vega expertly navigates a spectrum of emotions, from playful humour to inconsolable distress. Charlotte Vega is a born screen actor.
  • comment
    • Author: OCARO
    The Movie is situated in a lovely part of France and has some wonderful scenery. The backdrop adds to the plot and lures the audience into the mystery of a love story. The flashbacks are easy to follow and help build the story and give more background to the characters.

    The small cast interact well and give good dynamics to the developing plot. Charlotte does a wonderful job of adding mystery and depth to her character and the excellent camera work assist in dragging the audience into the story.

    At times the characters are quiet and seemed relaxed in their lives and keen to develop their relationship with the other characters, which builds well throughout the film to help with the twist and turns.

    Well worth watching for all adult cinema goers.
  • comment
    • Author: Matty
    Provenance is a moving story set in the small sleepy town somewhere in the South of France, a place that seems inconsequential at first, but which gains meaning as the film progresses. The acting is phenomenal; all three main characters are fully bodied superbly portrayed and in a way it is their charm that pulls you in completely. The tension intensifies as the movie unfolds in a nonlinear fashion towards an inevitable finale that hits you with the full force. Overall, it is a serious attempt at studying human fragility in the face of suffering as well as thoughtful exploration of relationships bound by tragedy. Unforgettable movie well worth watching and definitely worth watching more than once.
  • comment
    • Author: Detenta
    This movie captured me completely within first 10 minutes! Amazing acting, great camera work and passionate love/ lust. Beautiful French town upon which this film was set is filled with great scenery and beautiful nature. The characters were well developed and fascinating. All in all this indie film is a must see!
  • comment
    • Author: Gosar
    Found myself deeply engrossed in the film.

    Acting was intense and brought you into the story.

    Location was delightful.

    Thought it was cleverly put together.

    Something different that made you think.

    Great to see young talent given the opportunity to shine.
  • comment
    • Author: Thoginn
    As you start to watch you wonder if it's an other musician centered drama but how wrong can one be. Set in a lovely village in south of France with a real relaxing feel made one feel almost there, and the little subtle touches of humor really well done. The whole cast seemed to work well together including the walk on bits. Complemented by great camera work the story line could have gone anywhere but followed a really beautiful but heart wrenching emotional ending. The main actors were really great especially Charlotte ,young and new to the industry but we can expect to see more of her.
  • comment
    • Author: Yalone
    This is film that makes Romeo and Juliet seem like child's play. A story of love, sadness, trauma and unsuspected tragedy. Highly recommended. The cast were brilliant, you could feel the emotions around the dialog. I like the way the camera viewed the scenery, humorous and intense scenes that created total silence in the audience.
  • comment
    • Author: Nicanagy
    I watched this film recently at the Madrid International Film Festival and was very intrigued by its trailer. What starts out as a slow burn of a film slowly unveils a deep and rich relationship between an older man and a younger girl. At first it's hard to believe what this 20 year old girl sees in this older man but the actress, Charlotte Vega, a true star in the making, makes you BELIEVE in her love for this man. The two of them spend a wonderful weekend together in a southern town of France where they strengthen their bond and love for one another...shot beautifully by a very talented Director of Photography. A "Before Sunrise" with an age gap.

    However, and I will say this without spoiling anything, it delivers an ending that will punch you right in the gut and make you regret feeling anything that you felt earlier for these characters. An ending so twisted/amazing that it cannot be ignored. I wish the filmmakers luck and recommend everyone see this film, but you will only be able to see it once.
  • comment
    • Author: Braned
    I recently saw this and was very pleased with the movie. The casting for this movie is truly perfect, and the actors do not disappoint. You won't be able to help getting so into the movie, and you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting to see what will happen in the end. I love how in this film just when everything seems to finally be going right, it can turn around in an instant. Overall, this is a great movie and this is undoubtedly a movie to watch.
  • comment
    • Author: LØV€ YØỮ
    I don't often review films here but I thought Charlotte Vega handled her part like a pro and worthy of a mention. It's great to see new talent and this film will be great for her rankings. Worth seeking it out.
  • comment
    • Author: Stan
    Provenance is a haunting, beautifully done film. The acting is superior. The soundtrack, directing, cinematography and script are also outstanding. The peaceful, idyllic setting in a quaint town in the south of France, contrasts with the moody discontent, the despair of the character's inner turmoil.

    There is an abundance of clever foreshadowing that reinforces the themes. Clues symbolically intertwine to support the shocking final twist such as the movie's title and Peter's (Harry MacQueen) job as an historian.

    The music soundtrack dominated by piano/violin melodies acts almost as another character in the movie with it's vibrant, violently passionate tones, then sudden juxtaposition to lilting melodic whispers, complementing and interconnecting with John's (Christian McKay) emotions. Music connects the main characters in a web of joy teetering on destruction.

    The end is disturbing and poignant. It makes the viewers question their lives and feelings about the world and love.

    This movie decidedly deserves to win awards!!
  • comment
    • Author: Flower
    I always enjoy movies where the end is not dictated by the beginning. What initially appears to be a mid-life crisis/romance plot, evolves into something rather more intense. Eden with a serpent lying hidden in the grass; but a serpent with a twist.

    The movie's setting is idyllic, and leaves one craving a trip to that part of the world. The two leads are utterly believable; Ms Vega in particular leads you to forget that this is only a performance. After the movie ended, my family argued for some time about her character, as though she were actually real! Always a good sign.
  • comment
    • Author: Dordred
    What a superb debut by director Ben Hecking. The scenery is stunning and that is beautifully captured with many picture postcard shots throughout the movie. The actors deliver excellent performances with the standout being Charlotte Vega .... She is surely an actress headed for the top of her profession. This movie will leave an impression that lasts long after the end credits have rolled.
  • Credited cast:
    Charlotte Vega Charlotte Vega - Sophia
    Christian McKay Christian McKay - John
    Chereene Allen Chereene Allen - Lara
    Harry Macqueen Harry Macqueen - Peter
    Luke Beattie Luke Beattie - Agent
    Ludivine Parra Ludivine Parra - Marie
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