22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025
The Beast

The Beast (La Bête)

Bertrand Bonello

2044. Emotions are nothing more than handicaps in the road to hyperproductivity. Robots are barely distinguishable from humans, and the few left need to justify their existence. Undergoing a procedure to get rid of her emotions, Gabrielle remembers her past lives, and the signs of a preordained fate shake her to her core. Anchored by a two memorable performances by Léa Seydoux and George MacKay, and time-travelling through three eras tinted by a deep existential angst, “The Beast” is an engaging and off-beat sci-fi where the greatest dangers lie not in the environmental crisis or the automation of life, but in losing the sentimental core that makes us humans. “Isn’t it dangerous to know the future?”

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Direction Bertrand Bonello
Country Canada, France
Year 2023
Duration 146 min
Language French & English with German subtitles
Production Bertrand Bonello, Justin Taurand
Co-production Xavier Dolan, Nancy Grant, Alexandre Mattiussi
Cast Sarah Teper, Carmen Cuba
Camera Josée Deshaies, Loïc Andrieu
Script Guillaume Bréaud, Bertrand Bonello, Benjamin Charbit
Editing Anita Roth
Sound Nicolas Cantin
Music Bertrand Bonello, Anna Bonello

Venice Film Festival 2023

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About the director

Bertrand Bonello has been one of the figures of what critic James Quandt coined as New French Extremity, a style in French cinema entertained by explicit violence and its various facets. Often exploring different places and moments in history with a clean and brutal aesthetic that feeds on real events to create filmic realities, Bonello’s films have proven controversial, but have gained him a following amongst cinephiles.

Press reviews

“La Bête is dense and cerebral, but its intellect and philosophy never get in the way of its ultimate goal, which is romantic and passionate.” (David Acacia, International Cinephile Society)

“Challeinging and strange, The Beast is a fascinating experiment moving seamlessly between sci-fi, thriller and period film” (Diego Lerer, Micropsia Cine)

The director about the film

“Usually, there are two directions used in science fiction — hyper-technology in one sense and post-apocalyptic in another. I wanted to find a third direction. I chose 2044 because it’s future, right? But it’s tomorrow, it’s very close. We know that a lot of things will be the same, like architecture. The difference is with behavior, and I decided to take away stuff. You don’t have internet, images, commercials, you don’t have screens, you don’t have cars, you don’t have real sound. You don’t have interactions with other people. To get the world like it is, but empty. It gives the character [of Gabrielle] a huge loneliness. It’s always said in 2044, “Now there’s no more problems.” Alright, but what a sadness.” (Bertrand Bonello, Indiewire)


International Feature Film Program

© Grandfilm
© Grandfilm