To discover the region and get informed, there is of course your favourite guide, the Guide Tarn Aveyron, but to go further, we suggest a non-exhaustive selection of quality books.
Unmissable movies, in relation with the Tarn, the Aveyron and the Tarn & Garonne
The Tarn and the Aveyron and in general the former region Midi-Pyrénées, are favourable for film locations. Spectacular landscapes, remarkable heritage, hundreds of castles and a mild climate. This explains why the French and International film and television industry have many films set here. Here is a non-exhaustive list :
Le Vieux Fusil, (aka the Old Gun) 1975, by Robert Enrico, starring Philippe Noiret and Romy Schneider. Shot partly in the Châteaux de Bruniquel and few scenes in Montauban.
Saint-Jacques... La Mecque (2005) by Coline Serreau, shot partly Aveyron and Tarn & Garonne.
Lacombe Lucien (1974), by Louis Malle, shot partly in Tarn & Garonne.
Les Recettes du bonheur (aka The Hundred-Foot Journey), American movie from Lasse Hallström, which is set in Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val. It was also shot there. The story of the quarrels of two restaurant owning.
Film of the life of the painter born in Albi in 1864 : Lautrec is a biopic of Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, the famous painter who was of small size but with a big reputation. His crazy life is told in this film. Do not miss the dedicated museum in Albi !
Jaurès, la naissance d'un géant, (Jaures, birth of a giant) is a telefilm released in 2005, by Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe. It is a biopic of the life of Jean Jaurès who fought along the workers and against the extreme capitalism. Jaurès was an important character in Tarn, he was the deputy of Carmaux and supported the fight of the miners of Cagnac-les-Mines.
Pas de repos pour les braves, (aka No Rest for the Brave), by Alain Guiraudie, a rather original movie featuring the beautiful landscapes of Aveyron. A dramatic comedy presented like a waking dream...a bit disjointed but in the end rich in lessons on the destiny of life.
Le Fils à Jo (Aka Jo’s boy), shot in Tarn, close to Gaillac, by Philippe Guillard, popular comedy with Gérard Lanvin. A father wants to pass his passion for rugby to his son.
Fanfan la Tulipe, (Fanfan), in is 2003 version, by Gérard Krawczyk, with Vincent Perez, Pénélope Cruz and Didier Bourdon was shot in the town of Najac, Bourins Castle and Plessis-Bourré Castle.
Héroïnes by Gérard Krawczyk with Virginie Ledoyen partly shot in Decazeville, where it is also set a musical where two friends are surprised by success.
Tous au Larzac, by Christian Rouaud, a documentary on the fight of Larzac, was shot in Aveyron (of course !) and was warmly welcomed by audiences, in 2011. The documentary traces the 11 year conflict between the farmers and the military over the army camp at Larzac. To be seen
La Grande Vadrouille (1966) by Gérard Oury with Louis de Funès and Bourvil. A part of the movie was shot in the Aveyron, in the mountains of Montpellier-le-Vieux.
Farrebique (1947) by Georges Rouquier. A beautiful film-documentary, on the family life of farmers after the war, in Aveyron, close to Goutrens. There was a follow up movie in 1984 : Biquefarre.
Microcosmos, le peuple de l’herbe (aka Microcosmos) by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou (1996). A fascinating documentary on the life of insects at the origin of the creation of the Parc Micropolis in Aveyron, a good one for children.
They are famous, all have marked the history by their actions or their life, they are renowned and will remain in our memories, here is a list of the famous historical and contemporary characters.
Pierre de Fermat was a mathematician, born in Beaumont-de-Lomagne in the Tarn & Garonne who dedicated his life to culture and sciences : poet, physician, and magistrate...
Antoine Laumet, or Antoine de Lamothe-Cadillac is the founder of the town of Détroit in the US, discover his birth place which has been transformed into a museum in Saint-Nicolas de la Grave in Tarn & Garonne.
Léon de Maleville was a politician born at the beginning of the 19th century in Montauban, he was a senator, vice president of the National Assembly and Minister of the Interior.
Hugues Panassié was a musician and jazz journalist ; he spent a part of his life in Tarn-et-Garonne. In Villefranche-de-Rouergue, discover a very rich Jazz media library on thanks to the repurchase, by the commune, of the collection of Hugues Panassié.
Marcel-Lenoir or Jules Oury (its artist name) is a painter-draughtsman who was born in Montauban and died in Montricoux, who despite being famous, was renowned for living frugality by choice. In Montricoux Castle is a museum on dedicated to his masterpiece.
Pierre Perret, a famous French author-compositor-interpreter was born in Castelsarrasin.
Jean Jaurès, born in Castres, was a politician who was famously opposed to the beginning of WW1, who supported the cause of the workers and especially the miners of the Tarn. He was a man extremely pacifist, who supported many causes, and fought against inequalities and worked for his anticapitalist convictions up to his murder in 1914.
Jean-François de La Pérouse, born near Albi, was a French explorer from the 18th century ; he was also the commander of the navy and participated to the American Revolutionary War.
Another explorer, contemporary this time, Jean-Louis Etienne, born in the Tarn. He is a doctor and fascinating educator adventurer. He made many excursions to the Poles.
The painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born in Albi, where a museum is devoted to him. His prolific and living work equals his legendary character.
Pierre Fabre, is a pharmacist born in Castres and founder of a large pharmaceutical group that carry his name and which the headquarters are in Castres.
Jean-Henri Fabre, was born in 1823 in Aveyron, a remarkable scientist who excelled in many areas, he was also an academic.
Michel Bras is a Michelin Star restaurant Chef who opened a very renowned restaurant in Laguiole.
Cyril Lignac, chef and television host was born in Rodez.
Bernard Laporte, rugby player and coach, native from the Aveyron.
Pierre Soulages is a painter and printmaker, born in Rodez in 1919. He started his career representing its native land, the Aveyron, then he focused on abstract painting and variations around dark colours. A museum is dedicated to him in Rodez.
Danielle Dastugue, is editor and creator of the Editions du Rouergue, which publish beautiful books. She is not a native from the Aveyron, but she has been adopted and has promoted through her commercial ventures and other works, this department and its culture.
Jean Moulin, icon of the Résistance, was prefect of the Aveyron in 1937.
Maurice Astruc is a master cheesemonger and maturing expert. With is big moustaches He was famous for being the ambassador of the “Roquefort Société” brand, but he was not only a TV character, he was really the brand ambassador of this cheese which he promoted at fairs and during special events.
If you are interested by this topic, get the beautiful book "Hommes et femmes célèbres de l'Aveyron", Editions Bonneton, by Robert Taussat.