La Bête lumineuse

Pierre PerraultCanada127 minutes198214AColourFrench

Sat
May 20
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An all-male hunting trip becomes the occasion for a portrait of male savagery and of testosterone-driven persecution, in this documentary by the legendary Québécois poet, filmmaker and anthropologist Pierre Perrault.

This documentary by the legendary Québécois poet, filmmaker and anthropologist Pierre Perrault follows nine men on a week-long hunting trip in rural Quebec, charting the social dynamics of this diverse group and how the men relate to each other, alternately revealing and disguising their feelings. One among them — an earnest, philosophical teacher and poet — is so out of place that he soon becomes an even more pathetic victim of testosterone-driven persecution than the moose the men have come to kill. An object of much critical interest (and in some cases rejection) upon its release, La bête lumineuse marked a decisive left turn from the lyrical series of films about the island of Île-aux-Coudres (including the classic Pour la suite du monde) that had brought Perrault international acclaim, but the director nevertheless vigorously defended this raw, unsparing portrait of male savagery as his most beautiful film.

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