Our review of As Bestas: Land of Discord

As bestasthe actor Denis Ménochet (Antoine), impresses with his presence, but also with his acting, both intense and fragile. Lucia Faraig

CRITICAL – The Spaniard Rodrigo Sorogoyen signs a tense and disturbing film, which is as much an intimate social drama as a peasant thriller.

The opening sequence ofAs bestas says absolutely everything about Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s new film (el reino). In the heart of ancestral Galicia, “aloitadores” (a kind of local trainers) throw themselves on horses in a traditional hand-to-hand combat. These codified assaults are similar to bullfighting.

The physical and visual power of this choreographed introduction immediately installs a mastery that will resonate for a long time with the spectator. Sorogoyen films a merciless confrontation there, where men are like beasts. The fight will be inescapable until one of the two wins…

Intense and fragile

As bestas tells the story of Antoine and Olga, new French peasants who came to settle on one of the border slopes of the Pyrenees. Denis Ménochet embodies Antoine, a former teacher who wants to practice eco-responsible agriculture. Imposing like a block of granite, the actor impresses with his presence, but also with his play, which is both intense and all in fragility. At his side, Olga, embodied with…

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