In a fit of conspiracy theory-driven paranoia about a contagious bovine disease, a reserved dairy farmer recklessly sacrifices one of his cows and then goes to extreme lengths to cover up his tracks in this César Award-nominated psychological thriller.
"Hubert Charuel draws from his rural French upbringing, delivering an unconventional thriller about a desperate dairy farmer determined to protect his herd." Pamela Pianezza - Variety
Reserved 35-year-old Pierre Chavanges (Swann Arlaud, The Anarchists) seems to single-handedly run his family's dairy farm. Preferring to do the work manually, his milk is ranked #1 in terms of quality, much better than the high-production, machine-using farms in his region. And though his parents are constantly trying to set him up with a comely local baker, Pierre is content to have his work be his life. When one of his cows falls ill, he turns to his veterinarian sister Pascale (Sara Giraudeau) and tells her he's certain it's a contagious and incurable bovine disease that is sweeping through Europe. Pointing to her own expertise and his overreliance on conspiracy theory-driven YouTube channels, she tells him not to worry. But as Pierre's paranoia increases to the point of desperation, he turns to violent means to stave off the alleged epidemic and protect his herd. But a missing cow in this society doesn't go unnoticed, and as the noose tightens around him, Pierre goes to extreme lengths to cover up his tracks. With his directorial debut, Hubert Charuel has created a psychological thriller unique in its vision of northeast France and in its documentary-like details. (The film is shot at his parents' dairy farm.) This is a rural noir that'll get under your skin.
The son of French dairy farmers, Hubert Charuel abandoned his parent's plan to take over the farm to study the arts and graduated from the FEMIS Film School in 2011. Though he never continued on his parent's business, his admiration for their work and courage place their livelihood in an industry at the verge of collapse inspired his first feature film, Bloody Milk.
Sponsored by Alliance Francaise de Seattle, The French American School of Puget Sound, French Immersion School of WA
- Original Language Title: Petit Paysan
- Director: Hubert Charuel
- Principal Cast: Swann Arlaud, Sara Giraudeau, Isabelle Candelier, Bouli Lanners
- Premiere Status: Seattle
- Country: France
- Year: 2017
- Running Time: 90 minutes
- Producer: Stephanie Bermann, Alexis Dulguerian
- Screenplay: Hubert Charuel, Claude Le Pape
- Cinematographers: Sebastien Goepfert
- Editors: Lilian Corbeille, Julie Lena, Gregoire Pontecaille
- Music: Myd
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: French
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Pyramide International