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Introduction by Thomas Cailley at 6pm screening
In the striking opening scene of The Animal Kingdom, an argument between father François (Romain Duris) and son Émile (Paul Kircher) takes an unexpected turn when a man with the wings of a gigantic bird of prey makes a violent escape from a nearby ambulance. With his long-awaited follow-up to Love at First Fight (a highlight of Rendez-Vous 2015), Thomas Cailley, who most recently won Best Director at the 29th Lumière Awards in France, envisions a mysterious infection that selectively mutates the bodies of ordinary people into animal hybrids at unpredictable speeds. Nominated for 12 César Awards including Best Director and Best Film, this chilling scenario, conjured with vivid specificity and immediacy via dazzling, impeccably deployed special effects, serves as a relentlessly compelling backdrop to the central performances of Duris (The Three Musketeers), Kircher (the breakout star of Christophe Honoré’s Winter Boy), and Adèle Exarchopoulos (also in Rendez-Vous 2024 selection A Real Job). Together, the trio of actors breathe life into this darkly imaginative exploration of a human ecosystem undergoing inexplicable—but potentially liberating—transformation. A Magnolia Pictures release.