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621 Ratings

The Childhood of a Leader

Directed by Brady Corbet
United Kingdom, Hungary, 2015
Drama, Mystery, Horror


This fable about the rise of fascism in the 20th Century tells the story of an American boy living in France in 1918 whose father is working for the US government on the creation of the Treaty of Versailles. What he witnesses helps to mould his beliefs—and we witness the birth of a terrifying ego.

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The Childhood of a Leader Directed by Brady Corbet

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

2015 | 2 wins including: Luigi De Laurentiis Award

Independent Spirit Awards

2017 | 2 nominations including: Best Cinematography

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2016 | Nominee: Best Original Score or Soundtrack

Istanbul Film Festival

2016 | Winner: Special Prize of the Jury (International Competition)

Corbet doesn’t know what to do with the monster he has built and the result is an underwhelming ending, but the existential intrigue that came before still casts a long and dark shadow.
August 18, 2016
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With its precisely titled chapters (‘The First Tantrum’, etc) and foreshadowing conversations about the rearrangement of post-war Europe, it is plain where this story is going – though it’s still able to spring surprises. Even the credits are arresting: stark blocks of names that don’t linger on screen.
August 18, 2016
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One of Venice’s biggest surprises was the first foray into directing of indie actor Brady Corbet. The winner of the Debut Film award, The Childhood of a Leader is an ambitious adaptation of a Sartre story that combines elegant gloom with wicked humour and an over-the-top plot.
November 27, 2015
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