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Passion in the Desert 12 rating

Based on a story by Honoré de Balzac, a young Napoleonic soldier (Ben Daniels, Benediction) forms an intense attachment with a wild leopard in Lavinia Currier’s feature film debut.

Drama 1997 92 mins

Director: Lavinia Currier



It’s 1798 and Augustin (Ben Daniels) is a young soldier charged with looking after an elderly painter during Napoleon’s North African campaign. Following an attack, he becomes separated from his regiment and, lost and thirsty, is forced to wander under the blazing desert sun. When he stumbles upon a wild leopard, an extraordinary bond is slowly formed between man and beast.

Lavinia Currier’s feature film debut, based on Honoré de Balzac’s novella, is both an adventure and a curious love story. Beautifully filmed in Petra, you can’t help but admire Ben Daniels for his committed and carnal performance opposite a volatile co-star who bit him and threatened to break his neck during production.