L'il Quinquin

Originally broadcast as a four-part miniseries, this oddball mystery from Bruno Dumont (Twentynine Palms, Camille Claudel 1915) engages in a kind of tonal jujitsu: the story line is divided between children and adults, though by the end the grown-ups seem like the juveniles and vice versa. The title character (Alane Delhaye), a fierce little troublemaker with a thick racist streak, maintains a somber romance with a neighbor girl (Lucy Caron) even as he leads her and his other pals in a vendetta against two black kids in their small town; meanwhile a graying police detective (Bernard Pruvost) with an impressive array of facial tics tracks a serial killer whose dismembered victims each turn up inside a cow’s intestinal tract. Quinquin is such a wicked little shit that, by the end of this 2014 marathon, I’d begun to suspect he was the culprit in the bizarre slayings—but only by default, because Dumont prizes the mystery over any coherent solution. In French with subtitles.