The Duke Of Burgundy – Film Review

A mesmerising portrayal of human relationships, inspired by cult '70s horror films

Director Peter Strickland follows his 2012 thriller Berberian Sound Studio and Björk’s concert film Biophilia Live with this darkly comic erotic drama. Inspired by cult ’70s horror films like Vampyros Lesbos and taking its name from a rare species of butterfly, the film follows the relationship between butterfly collector Cynthia (Borgen‘s Sidse Babett Knudsen) and her housekeeper Evelyn (Berberian Sound Studio‘s Chiara D’Anna). In a soft-focus rural setting devoid of men, the couple wrestle with their fantasies, which include the purchase of a “human toilet”. Set to an original score by Faris Badwan and Rachel Zeffira’s Cat’s Eyes, Strickland’s film affords equal space to lustful and emotional elements of desire. It’s a mesmerising portrayal of human relationships.