Bestiaire Reviews

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Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis
May 22, 2013

I am equally fascinated and unnerved by the experience, which is why I will surely return again.

Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
April 2, 2013

A meditative movie that turns into a call for compassion for all the animals exploited for entertainment in zoos, safari parks, and circuses.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Sarah Boslaugh
March 4, 2013

Because most people are used to films that tell stories or make arguments, the natural response is to impose meaning on the images in Bestiaire, a response that reduces their immediateness and reality.

Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
February 20, 2013

Whether one is an animal lover or not, the chance to in essence sit with these animals as if up close and in their pens is remarkable and engaging.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix
January 1, 2013

Although there is no narration or manipulative music track, Denis Côté's long-take documentary look at Parc Safari in Hemmingford, Quebec, screams out (quietly) on the side of animal rights.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
December 30, 2012

The film is at turns mundane, poetic, disturbing and comical...invites all kinds of reactions, from our urge to anthromorphize animals to a desire to truly understand them.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Radheyan Simonpillai
NOW Toronto
December 20, 2012

Bestiaire isn't for everyone. It demands a patient audience willing to fill in the gaps between Côté's striking compositions and telling montage.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
December 7, 2012

The question the camera seems to ask is: What are animals to us and what are we to them?

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
December 6, 2012

Look closely at how Côté approaches those metal bars - you're never quite sure what will pop into view and who the real prisoners are.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
A.A. Dowd
Time Out Chicago
November 15, 2012

Bestiaire accommodates multiple readings, allowing its audience to project theories about spectatorship and captivity onto its silent beasts of burden.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic
October 18, 2012

Mr. Côté ... forces you to look at the often unseen. It may not be pretty, but it is essential viewing.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Sam Stander
Top Critic
October 18, 2012

For the most part, it shows exactly what it shows, so that when even the simplest cinematic mediation insinuates itself, it feels a bit like poetry - or conceptual magic.

Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
Top Critic
October 16, 2012

Bestiaire is, most profoundly, about the dynamics of looking, an exercise in studying gazes that are either unidirectional or, superficially, at least, reciprocated.

Calum Marsh
Slant Magazine
October 16, 2012

Bestiaire argues persuasively without words, making a case without explicating one at all.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Simon Foster
August 19, 2012

These beasts live a compromised life and Bestiaire raises questions as to whether mankind's best intentions justify the sacrifices they have unwittingly made.

Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film
June 17, 2012

This is a challenging and rewarding piece that reflects your own thoughts as much as those of the filmmaker.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Peter Debruge
Top Critic
January 30, 2012

erving up artfully framed, static-camera compositions of the animals within their mismatched environs, Cote's actuality-style catalog of context-free tableaux invites auds to free-associate with the scenes put before them.

Marty Mapes
Movie Habit
March 28, 2013

Minimalism, but without the aesthetic

Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
Top Critic
January 2, 2013

The images are meant to accumulate shame, and they do. But they also might be too much.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
Top Critic
October 16, 2012

Cows stare dumbly ahead; a llama paces back and forth in front of a wire-mesh fence; lions and tigers loudly rattle their cages.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Cole Abaius
Film School Rejects
February 18, 2012

Lee Marshall
Screen International
February 10, 2012

David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
February 10, 2012

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