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ON WAR

France, 2008 (MIFF 2008, Cannes Directors' Fortnight Tribute)

Director: Bertrand Bonello

ON WAR

“Today, pleasure has to be won, just as you win a war.”

Plunging into the murky depths of a sectarian pleasure cult, filmmaker Bertrand Bonello - who, incidentally, also composed the film's score - makes a bold statement about one person's exploration of his deepest subconscious. He goes so far as calling his protagonist ‘Bertrand', played with consummate skill by Mathieu Amalric, who willingly spends 15 days engaging in pagan ritual and sexual fetishism as an escape from his dreary existence.

Unsettling and visually compelling, On War remains ambiguous in its ‘message', and the title could be a little misleading - rather than fight a battle with an advancing enemy, Bertrand's ‘war' seems more likely his pursuit of hedonism outside the confines of a civilised world.

Also stars Asia Argento and Guillaume Depardieu.


D/S Bertrand Bonello P Kristina Larsen, Bertrand Bonello WS Films Distribution L French w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2008/130mins

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