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Fascinating and beguiling, Bestiaire is Denis Côté’s mesmerizing meditation on the relationship between man and beast. This strikingly beautiful film about looking starts with a group of art students attempting to sketch an animal that blurs the line between observer and observed. There may be no traditional narrative, yet there is breathtaking dramatic tension in every exquisitely framed shot - the sight of a lion attacking the doors of its cage or the scurrying striped legs of zebras in a holding pen. Contemplative and enthralling, Bestiaire is cinema at its purest.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 20
- Fresh: 17
- Rotten: 3
- Average Rating: 7.5/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Mr. Cote ... forces you to look at the often unseen. It may not be pretty, but it is essential viewing.
Fresh: erving up artfully framed, static-camera compositions of the animals within their mismatched environs, Cote's actuality-style catalog of context-free tableaux invites auds to free-associate with the scenes put before them.
Fresh: Whether one is an animal lover or not, the chance to in essence sit with these animals as if up close and in their pens is remarkable and engaging.
Rotten: The images are meant to accumulate shame, and they do. But they also might be too much.
Curious and Fascinating
Though not much really happens the film is actually stunning if you allow yourself to fall in to it. Every shot is perfectly framed. Maybe it's not for everyone but if you are fan of docs like Le Quattro Volte or Sweetgrass this is for you.
To say the least, the trailer would not encourage me to purchase this film at all.