At this time France was also divided over the Dreyfus affair and Marie's brother Pierre is against the recent pardoning of Dreyfus, while also being heavily influenced by and ultimately joining an ultra religious priesthood.
Marie in no time falls foul of the priest and soon after is all but disowned by her grandfather. Into this mix comes Julien, an assistant to the Prefect, and as such responsible for enforcing the new law. Pierre doesn't like him because of his role but Marie, who was his childhood sweetheart, falls in love.
When Julien receives a promotion he proposes to Marie, and they relocate to Limoges. Despite some friction with the head of her new school, all is going well until Pierre turns up. Marie helps him, unbeknown to Julien, and this has a very unfortunate outcome.
This is an interesting study of a devout woman who is quite happy to teach in accordance with the edicts of the new law while still keeping her faith. Unfortunately many around her are not as willing to accept this duality.
Filmed in the Limousin region the film's setting is full of bucolic charm.
The date 1905 probably means very little to non French audiences, the film being retitled as The Winds of Passion for the British market.