Bastards (2013 film)

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Bastards poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byClaire Denis
Produced by
  • Brahim Chioua
  • Laurence Clerc
  • Olivier Thery-Lapiney
Screenplay by
  • Claire Denis
  • Jean-Pol Fargeau
Music byStuart A. Staples
CinematographyAgnès Godard
Edited byAnnette Dutertre
Distributed by
  • Wild Bunch (France)
  • Real Fiction (Germany)
Release date
  • 21 May 2013 (2013-05-21) (Cannes)
  • 7 August 2013 (2013-08-07) (France)
  • 26 December 2013 (2013-12-26) (Germany)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
  • France
  • Germany
  • French
  • English
Budget$3.9 million
Box office$660,000[2]

Bastards (French: Les Salauds) is a 2013 Franco-German drama film directed by Claire Denis. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[3]


Marco Silvestri is a sailor who has cut off ties with most of his family, returns home after the suicide of his brother-in-law. At the urging of his sister, Sandra, who believes that her husband's death was caused by one of their creditors, Marco tries to avenge his family. He moves into an apartment above the one occupied by the creditor, Edouard Laporte, and begins an affair with his wife, Raphaëlle. Marco discovers that his sister is deep in debt and that his niece, Justine, has been hospitalized and might need reconstructive surgery as her vagina has been badly damaged. After some investigation he believes that Edouard was the one who injured his niece by penetrating her with a corn cob.

Justine eventually runs away from the hospital she was staying in. Friends of hers offer Marco access to images of her going to a sex club with Edouard and her father. After viewing the images Marco realizes that both his sister and his brother-in-law allowed Edouard to use their daughter for sexual favors in return for money to keep their failing shoe factory afloat. Justine and her friends leave together but she deliberately crashes the car they are driving, killing them all.

Meanwhile Edouard, discovering that Raphaëlle and Marco are sleeping together, leaves her, taking their young son with him. When he returns to collect a few of his son's things and to tell Raphaëlle that he is moving to Geneva with the boy, Marco tries to stop him. In the ensuing fight Marco is shot and killed by Raphaëlle. Sandra receives a video in the mail which she watches with Justine's doctor. It is a sex tape involving Justine, her father, Edouard and another woman. The tape shows Justine's father holding a corn cob.



Claire Denis wrote the film specifically for Vincent Lindon after she expressed interest in working with him again and he told her he would appear in whatever she wrote. The film was heavily inspired by Akira Kurosawa's The Bad Sleep Well whose French title Les salauds dorment en paix translates literally to Bastards Sleep in Peace.

The film also marks Denis's eighth film with Alex Descas and her seventh with Grégoire Colin.


Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 65% based on 48 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10,[4] while Metacritic gives a weighted average rating of 69 based on reviews from 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[5]


  1. ^ "Bastards (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  2. ^ JP. "Les Salauds (2013)- JPBox-Office". Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  3. ^ "2013 Official Selection". Cannes. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Bastards". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Bastards". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2 January 2014.

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