The "in-between" France


"Raymond Depardon's France" is one of the most acclaimed exhibitions in Paris right now. In huge color photographs, Depardon captures the often humdrum and unromantic details of real life in small French towns. He spent several years traveling the back roads all over the country with a large-format film camera to tell the story of what he calls "in-between France," the rural and once-rural parts overlooked by foreign tourists (and even by most of the French). It's a side of France many of us may have seen but not really noticed, because we were in our cars on our way to someplace else. "Paris in Black and White" it's not, nor is it the France of picture-postcards, but it's brilliant -- powerfully presented and drawing huge crowds to the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in the 13th arrondisement, where it runs until January 9, 2011.