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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Osborne

Tuesday movies

saw us heading to the Windsor in Nedlands and the French Film Festival. “Based on the remarkable true story of Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, filmmaker Nils Tavernier delivered a stunning and engrossing account of love and dedication in The Ideal Palace. Set in the south of France in 1879, Cheval (Jacques Gamblin) was a humble postman. He led an unassuming life, seemingly revelling in the solitude of his 20-mile delivery routes and daydreaming about the world of wonders he only saw through the postcards and magazines he delivered. He met and fell in love with the beautiful Philomène (Laetitia Casta) and the arrival of their baby daughter, Alice, caused him to look at things in a different way. He set about building a castle for Alice – one fit for a princess – that consumed the next 30-plus years of his life, even after his wife and daughter died. An absorbing parable of persistence and vision, a larger-than-life undertaking of one very reserved man and the huge legacy he bestowed on France.” “In 1968 the writer Jean Dutourd noted in Le Figaro that the Palais Idéal was falling into ruins and the following year the minister of culture, André Malraux, had it classified as an historical monument.” The building has since been restored and attracts thousands of tourists each year. “However, the highest honour came from the Ministère des postes et télécommunications which in 1986 put le Facteur Cheval on a French postage stamp.” When Cheval was presented with a 30-year long service medal it was calculated he had tramped over 200,000 miles delivering mail on his far-flung route. A heart-warming tale! Afterwards we headed to the International Hotel on the Water and enjoyed lunch on The Deck on a mild, sunny day.

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