Bullhead (2011)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5

Original title:  Rundskop

Belgium, 2011.  Savage Film, Eyeworks Film & TV Drama, Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, The Film Kitchen, Waterland Film & TV.  Screenplay by Michael R. Roskam.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

An astonishing act of childhood malevolence leads to an adult life of difficulty and strife as cattle farmer Jacky spends his days constantly reminded of a bullying incident which marked him forever.

Now an adult, he becomes involved with colleagues who want his assistance in their shady dealings, tampering with the hormone content of meat products. These activities, along with the killing of a police officer who was on the trail, bring to town an old friend of Jacky’s with a connection to his grisly past (the scene of which will be impossible for more sensitive viewers to watch) and sets in motion a chain of events that are both tragic and cathartic.

It is a story whose sorrows reach the levels of Greek tragedy, examining themes of masculinity and its sources: is male aggression the nature of a properly grown man, or can it be injected from a serum?

It’s played with such natural and deep tension that it is never less than completely riveting and, despite its dramatic overtones is never less than fully believable.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Foreign Language Film


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