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Canadian Premiere

  • Drama
  • /
  • France
  • /
  • 2010
  • /
  • 68 min
  • /
  • video
  • /
  • French with English subtitles
Bas-fonds Bas-fonds Bas-fonds Bas-fonds

Official Selection, Locarno International Film Festival 2010

Screening Times


Director: Isild Le Besco
Screenplay: Isild Le Besco
Cast: Valérie Nataf, Ginger Romàn, Noémie Le Carrer
Producers: Sangsho
Print Source: Sangsho

Part of...

Camera Lucida   

Camera Lucida

Screens with...



North american Premiere
2011 | 20 min



This is a nasty story, one of a hateful crime committed by three witches living far from the city. But it’s also a love story, the most beautiful and heartbreaking of all. It is a horrible tragedy, chronicling the impossible encounter of three despicable beings. But more than anything, it’s a true story.

Magalie, her sister Marie-Stéphane and the shy Barbara escaped an oppressive society to live a marginal existence at the edges. Finding refuge in a dirty apartment, where, away from inquiring eyes, they obey only their own impulses and desires, the love triangle spends its days glued to the television, watching porn. Their symbiotic relationship sets off a corrosive dynamic infused with passionate love and violent hatred, which, once brought to its paroxysm, inevitably explodes. And it is not pretty to look at. Endless insults are merely a prelude to blows and the monstrous Magalie, given her imposing stature and powerful voice, is always victorious. Thus she reigns over the apartment, taking evil pleasure in humiliating her submissive and helpless lover Barbara. To survive emotionally, Barbara turns to crude men who she secretly meets in bars. Though they’re only interested in her for her body, Barbara nonetheless finds in their embraces a semblance of the affection Magalie tenaciously refuses to giver her. The three women seem eternally fixed in their nightmarish daily life until the madness is taken a step too far. Now with blood on their hands, the destruction of their universe seems inevitable. Pulled apart by the law, the trio haven’t seen the worst yet. Leaving one prison to enter another, their return to the real world will be their damnation.

Bordering on the unbearable, BAS-FONDS has every element of a horror drama yet is deeply rooted in a realism screaming of truth. Inspired by miscellaneous stories, this film holds nothing back in its exploration of human brutality and, in plunging the spectator in a realm of discomfort, doesn’t fail to recall the hellishly intimate films of Bruno Dumont or Gaspar Noé. The three main protagonists are literally monsters, animated by a sadistic savagery, which is all the more terrifying in its authenticity, fleshed out by the disturbing ease with which the performers bring it to screen. With this third directorial effort, actress Isild Le Besco (SADE, L’ACCOMPAGNATRICE) is brave enough to confront us with pathological violence pushed to its extremes. Do you dare explore your own lowest depths?

—Simon Laperrière (translated by Ariel Esteban Cayer)

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