The best Belgian movie I will watch this year.

2 min readFeb 15, 2023

Bullhead is a Belgian crime drama directed by Michaël R. Roskam. The movie is a character study of a young cattle farmer named Jacky Vanmarsenille (played by Matthias Schoenaerts) who is involved in the illegal hormone trade in the country. The story takes a dark turn when Jacky becomes embroiled in a murder investigation, which leads to a series of events that challenge his loyalty to his family and the criminal underworld.

The film has a gritty aethetic, with dark cinematography and ominous soundtrack adding to the sense of unease that pervades the story. Matthias Schoenaerts gives a powerful and nuanced performance as the tortured and conflicted protagonist, portraying Jacky as a man who is both tough and vulnerable.

One of the things that impressed me about the movie was the way it explored my two favorite themes of masculinity and violence. The film depicts a culture of hyper-masculinity and machismo, where violence is seen as a way of asserting dominance and power. Much like myself, the characters are trapped in a world where they are forced to be tough and aggressive to survive, and the film does an excellent job of examining the psychological toll that this takes on people, something I myself am afraid to open up about since the person I confided in would most likely stab me in the back.

Another aspect of the movie that I found compelling was the way it explored the relationship between humans and our beafyer brothers and sisters: hoofed animals. The film features a number of scenes with cows, which are used as a metaphor for the power dynamics between the characters. The cows are a source of wealth and status for the farmers, and their physical strength and size are juxtaposed with their lack of agency to underscore the themes of dominance and violence that run throughout the movie. This hit home for me because I spend thousands of dollars a year on red meat to reinforce my masculinity, but secretly feel uncomfortable with the fact that a cow could kick my ass. Even a girl cow…

Bullhead is a powerful and thought-provoking film that tackles complex themes with intelligence and empathy for its lumpy and glistening subjects. The film is not afraid to take risks and explore uncomfortable territory, and it is anchored by a strong central performance from Matthias Schoenaerts. I would highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in crime dramas or character-driven stories that delve into the darker aspects of human nature. Just make sure you are alone when you watch it, especially if you are off cycle because there are certain scenes that will make you want to show weakness, and we all know what that leads to…

bullhead movie poster says Rundskopf
This bull is headed nowhere good.