Whanganui Film Society's next screening is a modern take on classic Hollywood western themes.

French screenwriter Thomas Bidegain made his directing debut in 2015 with Les Cowboys.

London Film Festival reviewer Jonathan Romney described it as a "striking debut".

"A French family obsessed with country and western is thrown into crisis when teenage daughter Kelly suddenly disappears.


"Stetson-toting father Alain (François Damiens) heads off in pursuit, later accompanied by his son 'Kid'.

"As time passes and we move into the uncertainties of the 21st-century, this twisty, provocative drama-thriller offers a modern variant on John Ford's The Searchers, with Alain in the John Wayne role as a man forced to confront his own prejudices – not about Native Americans, but about Islam and its transformation of the contemporary world.

"With terrific performances from Damiens, up-and-comer Finnegan Oldfield, and John C. Reilly, Les Cowboys combines real-world commentary and classic French cinephilia to potent effect."

Les Cowboys screens at the Davis Theatre, Whanganui Regional Museum, Watt St, at 7pm on Monday, September 17. Memberships available online at nzfilmsociety.org.nz or inquire at the venue.