by Daniel Auteuil
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The action takes place in the Vieux-Port of Marseilles, in the Bar de la Marine run by César and his son Marius. Marius dreams only of embarking on one of the boats that passes in front of the bar and setting out for distant lands. Fanny, a young and beautiful woman who sells shellfish in front of the bar, has secretly loved Marius since childhood; although he's never admitted it, Marius also loves Fanny. To keep a hold of Marius, who is planning to join a ship's crew, Fanny reveals her love to him and manages to stir his jealousy by provoking a fierce argument between Marius and Panisse, a master sailmaker and old friend of César's, who has been courting Fanny. Torn between the call of the sea and his love for Fanny, Marius finally renounces to set sail and stays with Fanny, who gives herself to him completely. But, when César and Honorine, Fanny's mother, are on the point of marrying their offspring, Marius succumbs to his madness for the sea. Encouraged by Fanny, who sacrifices herself because of her love for Marius, the young man boards the ship and leaves, abandoning Fanny, who holds back her tears and hides Marius' departure from César.