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THE NATURE OF THE BEAST

UK, 1988 (MIFF 1989, Children's Film Festival)

Director: Franco Rosso

'Haverston Beast Strikes Again' is the headline which catches 14-year-old Bill Coward's eye as his father and grandfather scour the paper for news of further redundancies Bill becomes obsessed by the accounts of sheep mauled and savaged on the moors There is savagery, too, in the town, as the mill workers fight redundancy, led by Bill's angry and embittered father. Feeling his home life increasingly threatened, the beast comes to represent to him all that is wrong in Haverston. At last, desperate, Bill seeks to escape the social evil that stalks his family and community by hunting down the mysterious and metaphorically over-burdened Beast that roams the moors.

Director Franco Rosso examines the beleaguered state of modem Britain and in particular the disintegration of one Lancashire mill town family in the face of unemployment Yet despite the weight of the subject matter, the Nature of the Beast is a dramatisation of the Janni Howker children's novel which describes a teenager's desperate efforts to come to terms with a tragedy he scarcely comprehends.

A hit at the 1988 London Film Festival for both adult and school screenings

Length; 98 mins

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