As Bestas (The Beasts): Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s new psychological thriller

Picture of the film AS BESTAS by Rodrigo SOROGOYEN © DR

Spanish filmmaker Rodrigo Sorogoyen brings As Bestas (The Beasts) to Cannes Première, a sixth feature film shot in Galicia in three languages. The director behind the unsettling Mother (Madre, 2017) and The Realm (El Reino, 2018) serves up a new psychological thriller starring Marina Foïs and Denis Ménochet.

French couple Antoine (Denis Ménochet) and Olga (Marina Foïs) are sustainable farmers who have just settled in the little village of Bierzo in the Galician countryside. They set about restoring the abandoned houses to help attract people back to the hamlet, and in line with their commitment to the environment, oppose plans for a nearby wind farm. A menacing atmosphere begins to unfurl between them and their neighbours, with the filmmaker masterfully raising the stakes and sense of dread.

Following on from his 2016 crime thriller May God Save Us (Que Dios Nos Perdone), in 2017 the Madrid-born director tried his hand at a heavyweight psychological drama with the short Mother (Madre), a film he went on to adapt into a full feature film. Shot on the beaches of south-western France, this fifth masterpiece drew on a mixed cast of both French and Spanish actors, with the action taking place on French shores. Here again, Rodrigo Sorogoyen hovers in the borderlands of two cultures, with the story behind As Bestas (The Beasts) unfolding deep in the heart of the Galician wilderness, filmed in French, Spanish and Galician, and featuring French and Galician actors: Luis Zahera and Diego Anido. 

In As Bestas (The Beasts), the king of suspense draws on a stable of long-standing creative partners, with a screenplay co-written by the ever-present Isabel Peña, soundtrack composed by Olivier Arson, and work by director of photography Alex de Pablo and film editor Alberto del Campo.