Keswick Film Club - Michael Kohlhaas

You are viewing the old version of our website.

Please visit our current website for all the latest information.

Sunday 16th March 5:00 PM

Michael Kohlhaas 

Director: Arnaud des Pallières Country: France/Germany
Cert: 15 Year: 2013 Length: 122 mins Language: French
Michael Kohlhaas

Programme Notes

Cinema Handout (PDF 85KB)

Audience Reaction

Score: 76.1% Attendance: 77




OK, we admit it; we saw Mads Mikkelsen was the star and couldn't resist it. After his amazing performances here last year in, first, "A Royal Affair" and then in "The Hunt" - two very different roles - we wanted to see him play the dashing hero. This role isn't quite what it looks like though. Michael Kohlhass is a Robin Hood-like creation, forced to fight back after facing unfairness and tragedy. So far, so good. But the key to this film is not the fight back, but the morality of this.

Kohlhass is a well-to-do horse trader, plying his trade in the sixteenth century Cévennes mountains of central France. He comes to a bridge where a local Baron illegally takes two of his horses as a tax before allowing him to cross. What follows is Kohlhaas' attempts to get them back, first legally then by raising a small army to fight the local government. Is he justified, or just a terrorist? Should he worry more about the consequences, or is Right always worth fighting for?

Mikkelsen is ideally suited to this role, with his quiet power driving the action and reacting to the moral dilemmas. We also see a small role for Denis Lavant ("Holy Motors") as a preacher trying to talk Kohlhass into stopping. Arnaud des Pallières has made a few films before, but this one is the first to really get noticed. It was nominated for the Palme D'Or at Cannes (albeit with an outside chance of winning), but he may be one to watch in the future - "Taking key influence from filmmakers such as Akira Kurosawa in its action, Ingmar Bergman's 'The Virgin Spring' (1960) in its setting and Andrei Tarkovsky in its satisfying depth, 'Michael Kohlhaas' is a sombre and brilliantly-realised period revenge drama, armed with a lurking muscularity" - John Bleasdale, CineVue.


open_quote Papadopoulos and Sons is a delightfully charming comedy which deserves to reach a wide audience close_quote Ben Keightly, Britflicks



comments powered by Disqus

Find A Film

Search over 1375 films in the Keswick Film Club archive.

Film Festival

Festival Logo

27 Feb - 1 Mar 2020


KFC is friends with Caldbeck Area Film Society and Brampton Film Club and members share benefits across all organisations


Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

Since then, the club has won Film Society Of The Year and awards for Best Programme four times and Best Website twice.

We have also received numerous Distinctions and Commendations in categories including marketing, programming and website.

Talking Pictures Talking Pictures The KFC Newsletter
Links Explore the internet with Keswick Film Club
Find Us On Facebook