Tuesday 21.5. / 9.30 pm / Kinoteka Cinema

The Beast

France/Canada, 2023, 146'
Director: Bertrand Bonello · Screenplay: Bertrand Bonello, Guillaume Bréaud, Benjamin Charbit · Photography: Josée Deshaies · Editing: Anita Roth · Production: Bertrand Bonello, Xavier Dolan, Nancy Grant, Alexandre Mattiussi, Justin Taurand (Les Films du Bélier, My New Picture, Arte France Cinéma, Sons of Manual, Ami Paris, Jamal Zeinal Zade) · Roles: Léa Seydoux, George MacKay, Guslagie Malanda

In the near future where human feelings are a threat, Gabrielle finally decides to purify her DNA using a machine that will delve into her past lives and rid her of all strong emotion. After meeting Louis she feels a strong connection, as if she has always known him. But fear takes over, along with a feeling that disaster is imminent, both private and collective. This mystical melodrama with elements of genre film takes place in three different time periods: 1910, 2014 and 2044. This is a free adaptation of one of Henry James’ finest novellas, The Beast in the Jungle, dealing with the subject of failure, but we can also note the influence of Inland Empire by David Lynch. Bonello takes on a sensory and even physical journey between virtual reality and reincarnation, where film and hypnosis show how well the two go together. His first film featuring a female protagonist demonstrates Léa Seydoux’ entire emotional range as we watch her from all angles, fighting for her life as she battles an invisible beast on the green screen. Who or what is the beast? The emptiness that surrounds us or the senselessness of the emotions we hold? The pain of humanity that makes us escape into inhumanity? Or is it the ubiquitous robotization that flattens all excess by removing everything that is not profitable? Will Gabrielle be able to rebel against the philosophy that was imposed on her? Will the rest of us?

Awards and Festivals:

Venice Film Festival (2023) – world premiere; Valladolid International Film Festival (2023) – best actress; La Roche-sur-Yon International Film Festival (2023) – special jury prize


Bertrand Bonello was born in Nice in 1969. He is a French director, screenwriter, producer, composer and actor. He directed such acclaimed films as The Pornographer (2001), Tiresia (2003), House of Tolerance (2011), Saint Laurent (2014), Nocturama (2016), Zombi Child (2019) and Coma (2022). His work has been associated with the so-called “New French Extremity”. He directed a total of nineteen films, The Beast (2023) being the most recent.