Director: Bruno Dumont
Year Released: 2006
Dumont juxtaposes rural life and war-life and finds hell in both - back on the farm, it's the madness of jealousy and loneliness and memory, in combat it's the madness of fear and anger. Every time I start to think the man's a nihilist he sneaks morality in there: during war, the transgressions are punished, so the soldier who shoots an innocent man riding a mule gets shot in return and the soldier who rapes a woman gets castrated (and shot by the victim herself). Dumont doesn't see much difference between sex and violence - both are brutal and brief and done almost arbitrarily - but does allow for redemption; some may balk at the heavy-handed presentation and become aggravated with the technique (he has a penchant for casting non-pros, he uses extended takes of people walking) but there's no denying he's one of the most distinctive and unique of all filmmakers working today.