City vs. Country: The Culture Clash in The Beasts

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By Laura Barton

It is late summer in Galicia, the blackberries coming in, and in the heat of the afternoon, the village bar promises respite: cool shade, cold beer, a game of dominoes with the neighbours. In Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s The Beasts, this is where the men of the small rural community gather – to drink and gripe and dredge up old grudges, presided over by the sour and quarrelsome Xan (Luis Zahera). 

Xan’s bête noire is Antoine (Denis Ménochet), a Frenchman who sometimes joins the afternoon drinkers, weathering their barbs and cheap shots. Antoine and his wife Olga (Marina Foïs) have relocated to this quiet corner of Spain, setting up an organic smallholding and renovating derelict properties, and their newcomer status, coupled with their bourgeois ambitions, irks the long-standing residents. ‘That’s what you want to do here,’ Xan sneers across the domino table one afternoon, ‘conquer the village and turn it into a fucking Club Med for tourists.’

Read the full article on the Curzon Journal here.