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Episode Guide

Bullhead

It was always going to end up this way for Jacky Vanmarsenille (Schoenaerts) - pumped up on drugs and deeply embroiled in the murky side of the Belgian cattle industry.

An appalling, shockingly violent incident in young Jacky's life ensured his life-long dependency on steroids, which also guaranteed his muscle-bound physique and a hair-trigger predisposition to rage. And his birth into a family of cattle farmers who've long blithely ignored growth-hormone regulations inevitably meant he'd have more than a little contact with gangsters and dodgy vets.

But the murder of a policeman who was investigating the hormone trade could spark a chain of events that will drag Jacky under for good.

Schoenaerts, in his feature debut, gives a stellar performance as the steroid-fuelled, contradictory bundle of violence and empathy, whose story is told alternately in linear narrative and flashback.

Jeroen Perceval is also worthy of mention for his representation of the slight, untrustworthy Diederik, Jacky's childhood friend, who's now been subsumed into one of the local criminal gangs.

In Flemish and French, with English subtitles.

(2011) Cert: 15

Bullhead synopsis

Michaƫl R Roskam's Oscar-nominated crime thriller stars Matthias Schoenaerts in a tale of violence and murky dealings in the Belgian cattle industry

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