A moving account of love and perseverance, this is the remarkable true story of Postman Cheval and his 33-year dedication to personally building a palace for his daughter.
Set in the south of France in 1879, Joseph Ferdinand Cheval leads a humble life as a postman, travelling the river Drome from village to village and imagining the wonders of the world he can only experience through postcards.
After meeting and falling in love with Philomene (Laetitica Casta) the couple welcomes the arrival of their baby daughter, Alice. The love he feels for his infant daughter inspires Cheval to undertake what will become his life’s work, the construction of The Ideal Palace, made entirely from stones.
Director Nils Tavernier delivers this affectionate, yet surprisingly gritty film, which doesn’t shy away from the human cost or the obsessiveness which drove Cheval’s construction.
Jacques Gamblin plays Cheval, a man incapable of showing love to his wife and child, instead of channelling his passion into one vast and magnificent act of creativity. The fantastical castle, full of references to mythology, religion and multiple architectural styles was created by hand by Cheval.
Spectacular images depicting the stunning landscapes and equally striking performances underpin this engrossing story of persistence and vision, the extraordinary undertaking of postman Cheval and the significant legacy to France.
Cast & Crew
Director Nils Tavernier
Writers Laurent Bertoni, Fanny Desmares, Nils Tavernier
Stars Jacques Gamblin, Laetitia Casta, Florence Thomassin
This year we’re pulling out all the stops to bring you our best BREC International Film Festival yet!
Our foyers and Box Office will stay open from 1.15pm every day of the Festival to meet all your ticketing needs and allow you time to relax before and between screenings.
Discover the wines of the South West on Fridays in the Sky Bar with cheese and biscuit platters available for purchase. On Saturday’s we’ll dim the lights and turn up the music. From 3.30pm on Sundays you can enjoy afternoon tea complete with scones and listen to live local musicians.
Find more information on all the Festival Extras here.