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Deep in the Woods

Deep in the Woods

Au fond des bois

Benoît Jacquot

  • Country: France, Germany
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: French
  • Producer: Philippe Carcassonne, Matthieu Tarot, Jens Meurer
  • Screenplay: BenoîtJacquot, Julien Boivent
  • Runtime: 102
  • Programmes:

Set in the 19th century, a wild man emerges from the woods and casts a spell on the beautiful daughter of a country doctor. The two of them flee into the woods and descend into a nightmare of carnal sex, mixed with moments of tenderness, violence and abuse, before redemption and salvation arrive.


screening times

    • Saturday September 11
    • 7:00:00 PM
    • Sunday September 12
    • 12:00:00 PM
    • VARSITY 7
    • Friday September 17
    • 10:45:00 PM

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

Benoît Jacquot delves into the dark recesses of the human soul with this unsettling period piece about the relationship of a young bourgeois girl to an homme sauvage (wild man). He explored this territory in many of his earlier films, but never has he balanced the desperate intensity of total abandonment with the redemptive transcendence that we see in Au fond du bois.

The year is 1865 and Josephine, daughter of the local country doctor, is courted by a poet and upstanding gentleman. Suddenly, a thunderbolt arrives in the form of a wild, disheveled young man who emerges from the woods looking for food. He is mute and deaf but has magical powers of hypnosis, and in short order Josephine finds herself totally under his power. But this man is not who he seems to be. Finding his voice, he announces himself to be the son of God. Unable to resist his powerful aura, Josephine flees with him into the woods, abandoning her house, father and fiancé. Travelling through the forest, they descend into a netherworld of carnal sex and deep tenderness, mixed with irrational outbreaks of violence and abuse.

Though fully aware of the scandalous depths of her actions, Josephine is unable to escape from the man’s controlling power. Jacquot moves well beyond this set-up to probe into the furthest reaches of human attraction and repulsion. Beautifully scored and photographed, and featuring feral performances by Isild le Besco and Nahuel Perez Biscayart, Au fond du bois casts a disquieting spell. Amidst the carefully ordered world of nineteenth-century France, the film is fascinated with the sexual and subconscious, plumbing the uncharted depths of human desire and the complex relationship between eros and the id.

Piers Handling

director bio

Benoît Jacquot was born in Paris. He began his career as an assistant director for such filmmakers as Jacques Rivette and Marguerite Duras. He was the subject of the Festival’s spotlight in 1997. He has directed over twenty feature films, including La fille seule (95), Le septième ciel (97), Par coeur (98), L’écoe de la chair (98), Pas de scandale (99), La fausse suivante (00), Sade (00), Tosca (01), Adolphe (02), À tout de suite (04), L’intouchable (06), which screened at the Festival, and Villa Amalia (09) and Au fond des bois (10).

full credits

Principal Cast: Isild Le Besco, Nahuel Perez Biscayart Jérôme Kircher, Mathieu Simonet, Bernard Rouquette
Philippe Carcassonne, Matthieu Tarot, Jens Meurer
Julien Hirsch
Luc Barnier
Henri Maikoff, François Musy, Gabriel Hafner
Bruno Coulais
Production Designer:
Sylvain Chauvelot
International Sales Agent:
 Films Distribution
Production Company:
Ciné[email protected]/Passionfilms/Egoli Tossell Films/Arte France Cinema
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