Bastards (Denis, 2013)

Bastards (Claire Denis, 2013)

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.  –Mark 9:42

When Denis leads off with a poetic depiction of a man contemplating in silence before taking his own life, it’s strange to think that it would end up being the most peaceful scene in the entire film. But throughout Denis does a great job of piecing hurt and destruction together with serenity of tone and pace. When I say a film’s mood can make or break it, this film is a prime example. Such horrible circumstances revealed to be more and more awful with every step into the dark world of these characters’ lives is bearable to witness because of the calm approach, only allowed to viewers because of Denis’ decision to tell the story during the aftermath of the storm – when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, but the homes have been flattened. Getting to look back into the eye of the storm, though, was still too hard for me personally, so despite my respect for how this is presented, I could not and will not ever watch this again, and almost wish I could forget about it.  7.5/10



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