The Childhood of a Leader

The Childhood of a Leader

American actor-turned-director Brady Corbet's feature debut tells the story of the post-WWI rise of fascism in Europe through a wayward young boy.

"An American family settles into the French countryside at the end of the First World War, where the father (Liam Cunningham) is involved in the peace negotiations around the Treaty of Versailles. His wife (Bérénice Bejo) is a devout Christian who struggles with the tantrums of their defiant son, whose willful outbursts begin to demonstrate a monster in the making. Loosely inspired by the early childhood experiences of many of the great dictators of the 20th century, The Childhood of a Leader is an ominous portrait of emerging evil." (Venice Film Festival)


Winner of Best Debut Feature and the Orizzonti Best Director Award, 2015 Venice Film Festival.

Directed by

Written by

  • Brady Corbet
  • (based on the short story of the same name by Jean-Paul Sartre)

Drama, Horror, Mystery


French and English with English subtitles

UK, Hungary, France

Hollywood Reporter


An embarrassingly overambitious parable.

Variety (USA)


Brady Corbet's directorial debut is exceedingly ambitious and finally maddening, but it's an auspicious folly.