An early example of ultra-realism, this movie contrasts the quiet, bucolic life in the outskirts of Paris with the harsh, gory conditions inside the nearby slaughterhouses. Describes the ... See full summary »
An early example of ultra-realism, this movie contrasts the quiet, bucolic life in the outskirts of Paris with the harsh, gory conditions inside the nearby slaughterhouses. Describes the fate of the animals and that of the workers in graphic detail. Written by
A hard but poetic documentary about the outskirts of Paris.... and their slaughterhouses
"Le Sang des Bêtes" is a splendid documentary about the life and work of many workers, living just outside the Paris walls after WWII. From the vast and deserted areas that seemed to completely surround the city and its few 'modern' outskirt-constructions, Franju suddenly leads us nearer to the heart of the capital. Where the industrial compounds rise. where, at the fringe of urban and rural worlds, the cattle is being slaughtered. From the horses slaughterhouses of the Porte de Vanves to the huge Halles de la Vilette, where cows, calves and sheep are being prepared to be eaten, this short film is by no means a claim for vegetarianism. Some scenes are certainly hard to watch, but the accurate eye of the director, his tenderness towards the men (and women) doing this very hard work, is the real point here. After all, we've seen animals die before (actually after, from 'Le Cochon' of Jean Eustache and Barbet Schroeder's New Guinea documentaries, to "Benny's Video" and the morbid attraction of Benny towards the film of the cow's death. So let not your prejudices take the better, and let the film deliver its message : that he is the witness of a world not that old, and already so odd to us.
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