“The great-grand-nephew of the great grandfather of my great-great-grandmother one day took a pickax to kill the village mayor, his wife, and the forester who was guilty of having moved his goat ten yards away. It provided me with a good starting point... There have been other similar occurrences in the family.” Thus writer-director Luc Moullet on his latest feature film, in which he analyzes the unusually fecund occurrence of psychological disorders and their attendant misconduct during the past century in a remote southern French region at the base of the Alps. Does a connection exist between a rudimentary thyroid gland, isolation, or the abundance of religious sects and the most multifarious kinds of murder and suicide? Blessed with an infectious obstinance and his characteristic dry humor, Moullet studies the causes and consequences of a phenomenon that falls into the so-called pentagon of madness.
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