Skip to main content


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

See also...


Rarg is a perfect place So perfect that the sun will not rise until everyone is awake In Rarg there is a story of a Senator, a professor, forty intelligent babies and a man called Edwin To say any ... More »


A throbbing animation to a Brazilian beat. ... More »


The Children's Film Unit gives children the chance to learn filmmaking skills. Doombeach began with an improvisation based from some recent news items. ... While his mother is having a baby, a social ... More »


Kelly is 13, bored with her working class parents and jobless future, and a regular caller to Childline, where she invents tales of terrible things which never happen to her at home. ... Max is also ... More »


A modern re-telling of the childhood classic about Fanny, who has lived in the forest with her meteorologist mother ever since she was a little girl. One day on the way to visit her grandmother and ... More »


Nine year old Liesje lives with her mother and writes letters to her father, who she believes lives in Rio de Janeiro, but who is actually in prison. Liesje wants to visit him in Rio and she saves up ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director