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The Childhood of a Leader

Brady Corbet
UK, Hungary, France 2015 / 116’

A historical-fantasy drama written and directed by Brady Corbet. The screenplay, which he wrote together with his partner, Mona Fastvold, is loosely based on Jean-Paul Sartre's novel of the same name, as well as John Fowles' novel The Magus . The action takes place just after World War I in a village outside Paris, at the home of an American diplomat who is working on the Treaty of Versailles and who is rarely at home. His wife is a frustrated cosmopolitan and a conservative Protestant all in one. Their son feels lonely-the only person who pays any attention to him is his governess. He continuously dreams up increasingly radical forms of rebellion. What we see is the birth of the eponymous leader. The film stars Robert Pattinson, who plays two roles: a friend of the family and the dictator as an adult. The highly detailed set design evokes the atmosphere of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. An additional element that completes the work is the atmospheric music by one of the world's best contemporary musicians, Scott Walker.

Against Gravity


Venice IFF 2015 - Luigi De Laurentiis Award, Venice Horizons Award (Best Director); Lisbon & Estoril FF 2015 - Best Director; Istanbul IFF 2016 - Special Prize of the Jury;

Brady Corbet

An actor and filmmaker, Brady Corbet lives in New York and Paris. In 2008, he played David in the U.S. remake of Michael Hanneke's Funny Games. He made his directorial and screenwriting debut at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 with the short film Protect You + Me, which won a Special Jury Prize for Short Films. He co-wrote The Sleepwalker (along with his partner, Mona Fastvold, who also co-wrote The Childhood of a Leader).


2008 Protect You + Me (short)

2015 Dzieciństwo wodza / The Childhood of a Leader

Cast & Crew

director Brady Corbet
screenplay Brady Corbet, Mona Fastvold
cinematography Lol Crawley
editing Dávid Jancsó
music Scott Walker
cast Robert Pattinson, Liam Cunningham, Stacy Martin, Bérénice Bejo
producer Chris Coen, Ron Curtis, Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Helena Danielsson, Istvan Major, Genevieve Lemal
Polish distributor Against Gravity
language French, English
colouration colour