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. Bestiaire producer, Sylvain Corbeil joins us for a lively discussion on context and perception regarding animals, humans and otherwise.
“With wildlife documentaries expanding their bag of technological tricks and YouTube an ever-growing menagerie of pet videos, animal imagery has never been more prevalent. In some ways “Bestiaire,” nearly wordless but infinitely suggestive, is a comment on and a reaction to that saturation, a meditation on what we think we are looking at when we look at animals.” – Dennis Lim, New York Times
“Animals…so like us? Canadian filmmaker Denis Côté begs to differ in this extraordinary experimental documentary, about an inherent human need to dominate other species.” – David Fears. Time Out New York