Rodrigo Soroguín and Isabel Peña at Las Pestias

Las Pestias (as bestas), directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen and written with his longtime assistant Isabel Peña, explores the escalating conflict between two newcomers in a Spanish mountain village. “The movie is like a country thriller, but it’s a love story.”

Las Pestias

as bestas It is based on a true story and revolves around the French couple Antoine (Denis Menochet) and Olga (Marina Vos), who settled in a small village in Galicia, a region in northwestern Spain. The villagers were traditionally ranchers, a heavy occupation that yielded little income. However, the couple settled in the mountains for fun and grew organic vegetables there for a side income.

The relationship is strained when a company pledges a huge sum of money in exchange for all the villagers’ land. Most villagers see this as a welcome escape from their difficult lives, but Antoine and Olga, who live here for pleasure rather than necessity, refuse to sell their land. Without them, the sale will not take place. Trying to get them to sign anyway, two village brothers resort to intimidation.

The works of director and screenwriter Rodrigo Soroguín and screenwriter Isabel Peña often deal with violence, especially male violence. as bestas It continues this exploration, but it also changes the focus, say Soroguin and Pina in a group interview (not spoiler-free) during the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

as bestas Reminiscent of the western. Suroguin: “There are really elements that come from the West: the intruder, the way outsiders are not accepted, nature, the bad guys bar — if you can describe these natives that way. I was very interested in the visual aspects of the West. We wanted to refer to the West, but we also knew we wanted Break that at some point. It will be quite clear when the reference will be cleared again.”

There is a moment when the story seems to end, but the movie continues. Peña: “The first part of our story is something we’ve seen a lot, but the second part, where the woman finds a way to deal with the conflict in a different way than her husband, we haven’t seen much yet. I saw. It was the realization that this different way of resolving conflict was not told in many Sometimes proof that this story was worth making into a movie.
“Overall, as screenwriters, we are interested in the premise of the character and love to experiment and play with what the story might be like. This second premise, which is somewhat a change in the main character, is hilarious and original in the film: We draw viewers into this story, but After that the main character dies and the story continues, although you might think the viewer. Perhaps the real hero of the story was not the man, but always the woman.”

Would you describe the movie as a love story between Antoine and Olga? Suroguin: “Sure, and when people ask us to say a few words about the movie, I always say it sounds like a country thriller, but it’s a love story. The love story is the most important element to us. It sparked this woman’s decision, Olga, to stay after what happened to her husband this The story. There would be no movie without this love.”

The film revolves around a conflict between the Spaniards and the French couple. Is this based on the complex relations between the two countries? Soroguín: “We know the rivalry between France and Spain, which is more of a joke than something really aggressive or violent. But as screenwriters we know these stories and care about the small details. For example, it is often said that when the French come to Spain, they avoid All the Spaniards think they are superior. But you should know that the script is based on a true story. This actually happened. In the real accident were two Dutch, a Dutch couple. It was easier to get a French couple out of it, for production reasons and because of this historical conflict between The Spaniards and the French.”

Where does the title come from? as bestasFrom? Peña: “During our research in Galicia, we discovered something called ‘La Rapa das Bestas’, a traditional festival that takes place once a year. They go to the mountains and bring these wild horses there;”bestasThe word “wild horses” means “wild horses” in the Galician language. They deal with animals in the mountains as you can see in the opening shot of the movie [mannen worstelen met de paarden om ze tegen de grond te krijgen; RvdK]. They do this to rid the horse’s mane of lice. Then they released the horses. We thought using a Galician language title was a nice way to show that the movie was set there. But it was also coherent with the film’s setting and theme: we thought the title could reflect the game between Antoine and the two brothers.”

There are two completely different scenes of discussion in the film: one between the villagers and Antoine in the bar, and the other between the daughter and mother in the kitchen. Suroguin: “The first movie is shot in a more static way and it shows men with their thoughts: they don’t want to move and change. In the second scene, we used stability because I like to think that there is more lightness, more movement among women. Men are more in tune with their ideas, in Whereas only women can move and adapt better. We only realized that there was a parallel between these two scenes at the end of writing the script. The scene in the bar didn’t even exist at first, when we started working on the movie in 2015. The script was almost complete when we realized we needed the scene in the tape.

As a viewer, I first sympathized with the brothers in this bar scene. Was this important to imagine the conflict? Peña: “Yes, although I will not talk about it in terms of sympathy, but more in terms of understanding the feelings of these two brothers. Why do they feel the way they feel? What we do when we work on the script is this: we try to forget that they are characters and we want to build people They could exist. We want to design people with complex motivations who are very human. If we didn’t do it that way, they would be evil. Period. But it’s not like that for us and it’s not like that for our viewers.”

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