The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
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Filmmaker Luc Moullet offers a darkly comic look at the sinister underside of a small town his family has called home in this documentary. Moullet's parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were all born and raised in the same village in the French alps, and while the town is a beautiful place, it also has a gory history of madness and murder, with one of the director's (very) distant relatives guilty of killing three prominent citizens after someone moved his goat without permission. Why has murder, suicide and insanity thrived in this otherwise peaceful place for so long? Does it have something to do with the presence of unusual religious groups, a common thyroid ailment, or just being stuck in the middle of nowhere? And is this still happening today? La Terre de la Folie (aka Land of Madness) was screened as part of the Directors Fortnight program at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
Essai's gags unfold without a semblance of structure, but they're also inventive, and really funny. Land of Madness's, while pleasant enough (a strange thing to write about a comedy of murders), aren't.