115 mins, UK-Hungary-France, 2015, Digital

This film was released 19th August 2016, and is no longer screening.

★★★★★ Irish Times

An extreme case of nature versus nurture is expounded in this debut from actor-turned-director Brady Corbet; an adaptation of a Jean-Paul Sartre story, The Childhood of a Leader is a bold statement of intent which announces Corbet as a filmmaker of vision and ambition. The year is 1918; seven-year-old Prescott is in France with his American diplomat father (Liam Cunningham), a significant player in the war-ending Paris peace negotiations, and his German mother (Bernice Bejo).

Increasingly rebellious, the young boy responds 
to his distracted parents’ emotional neglect in increasingly alarming fashion. Corbet, who has clearly 
learnt from acting for directors such 
as Haneke and Von Trier, brings a poise and intellectual rigor to this story, which is more a philosophical inquiry than the character study it purports to be. He is aided in no small way by a thrillingly cacophonous new score from Scott Walker. (Notes by David O’Mahony.)

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