Movie Short Review: ‘By Blood (Par Le Sang)’

Review by David Ferguson

Greetings again from the darkness. It’s likely a guilty conscience that leads Mort-Lieu to assume the mysterious Knight on horseback is actually Death coming for him. After all, he did seize his vast land holdings through violent atrocities over the years. Now he’s a sickly old man who must gather his strength and face not just his past actions, but also the legacy of his self and his family.

This 20 minute short film comes from France and is co-written and co-directed by Jonathan Delerue and Guillaume Enard. Set in medieval times, the Knight is perched outside the castle walls, seemingly daring to be confronted. Mort-Lieu’s young son (Jonas Bloquet, ELLE) is desperate to prove his valor by charging off to fight the Knight, but his father orders him to stand down.

Pascal Greggory (LA VIE EN ROSE) plays Mort-Lieu and his wife (Anne Charrier) has no sympathy for weakness, and inspires toughness in her husband … the toughness he showed in building his kingdom, despite the bloodline challenges he faced. Beautifully filmed, the movie conveys much in a short run, and reminds us all that, in the end (if not sooner), we must face the actions of our life.

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