Yes, this is essentially an advertisement for Europe’s linen industry. But it’s also a marvelous combing-through of the processes that turn a field of dancing purple flowers into a “noble” textile. The first fifteen minutes of the film are the most fascinating, as bales of flax stalks are plucked from dusty Norman fields, cleaned, combed and carded, gradually transforming into a shining, voluptuous fiber. As endless ropes begin to flow like auburn treacle from combing machines, it hits you that these gleaming manufactories translate the fairy-tale tasks of spinning and weaving into the industrial vernacular of the information age. Rumplestiltskin never had it so good.