Le serpent aux mille coupures (" Thousand Cuts")

North American Premiere
  • France
  • 2017
  • 106 mins
  • French
  • English (subtitles)
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Hosted by Director Eric Valette

Official Selection: International Film Festival Rotterdam 2017

« Un grand cru pour le polar français. Eric Valette est de retour et ça fait un bien fou au cinéma hexagonal » - Simon Riaux, ÉCRAN LARGE

« Eric Valette [...] propose ici un polar d'une noirceur peu commune » - LE PARISIEN

Late one night in a French vineyard, several individuals and groups converge, none with positive intent – and not all of them walk or drive away. The immediate upshot is that a wounded, nameless gunman (Tomer Sisley of SLEEPLESS NIGHT) takes refuge in a nearby farmhouse, holding the mixed-race family dwelling there – already under harassment by bigoted neighbours – hostage as he recovers. At the same time, the corpses left behind attract the attention of a local police colonel, who joins a member of Spain’s Guardia Civil to investigate, and various criminal elements also determined to track down the killer. Chief among them is a ruthless and sadistic Chinese-German hitman (Terence Yin), who might not leave anyone alive to take part in the final confrontation.

French director Eric Valette first announced himself on the international scene with the claustrophobic chiller MALÉFIQUE (Fantasia 2003). Following an ill-fated Hollywood sojourn (ONE MISSED CALL), other features including STATE AFFAIRS and THE PREY, and gigs on several TV crime shows (including TRANSPORTER: THE SERIES and BRAQUO), he’s back with an ambitiously sprawling thriller based on the novel “Le serpent aux mille coupures” by “DOA” (a.k.a. Hervé Albertazzi), who co-scripted the film with Valette. Volleying back and forth between the rising tension within the farmhouse and the various outside factions closing in on each other, the director eschews a simple nonstop shoot-’em-up in favor of examining a cross-section of characters on both sides of the law. The most striking is undeniably the icily vicious villain played by Yin (who has worked with everyone from Takashi Miike to Jackie Chan to Lara Croft) – his wicked way with a knife will challenge you to keep your eyes on the screen.

- Michael Gingold

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