Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!



This is without a doubt the most disturbing film I've ever seen. The movie has made its way through the festival circuits and stirred-up outrage and debate wherever the film has been shown, and for good reason. This is combative cinema.

Milos, a retired porn star in Serbia, is lured into one last job. The money he saved is running out just when he needs it to help support schooling for his young son and the daily costs of living with his wife. The job offer comes from a former associate of his who has gone on to star in animal porn and if this isn't a tip-off that things are going to get strange, then I guess nothing else could be. The man Milos goes to work for has an idea of mixing art with porn but he wants to keep his star in the dark as to the plot. Milos gets offered a bundle of money, too much to turn down despite his misgivings, and finds himself drawn into an increasingly tightening circle of hell itself. After some uncomfortable encounters that flirt with child porn and indulges in masochism, Milos decides to back out. But it's too late now as things rapidly fly out of control.

And then there's the "Newborn Porn" scene, and you're either vomiting or running for the exit.

From there, its a descent into madness and depravity and the movie becomes an endurance test. Can you make it through to the end, to discover, along with Milos, just what evil he's participated in? You see, Milos gets dosed continuously with a mixture of animal "Viagra" and speed, so he's out of his mind with lust and violence. It's a white-knuckle ride to the end and after it's over, Milos and his family will never be the same.

Neither will you.

I know it really disturbed me, and I think I got the point. Here's this country, scarred by war and ethnic cleansing, where life has been reduced to the ridiculous. Normal people, working class folks like Milos (even though he works with his dick, he's an artist, no more different than a master electrician or a plumber) have their lives ripped from them and forced to participate in things so terrible there is no coming back from them. No, there is no war mentioned in the film and it doesn't involve any soldiers. Instead, I believe, this film shows the effects of dehumanizing war and what it does to the common people. They, like Milos, get dragged into involvement with things they'd never conceive as possible and when they find out what they've done, they have to deal with the consequences.

Watch this only if you have a strong stomach and can put your moral objections aside. Whether you do or don't, you will still be left sick, dizzy, and furious. This film is no joke; it's the real deal. It forces each viewer to confront things they most probably never wished to deal with.

You've been warned.