Dogtooth (2009)

May 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Aggeliki Papoulia in Dogtooth

Written by Giorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou

Directed by Giorgos Lanthimos

Dogtooth is an ambitiously aberrant film about a trio of over-protected young adult siblings who have a completely warped view of reality, thanks to their parents taking extreme measures to hide reality from them. Their parents teach the children everything they know, and what they know is quite random or just plain wrong. this system seems to work perfectly up until the children reach their late teens, at which time they begin to explore their burgeoning sexuality and there are cracks in the protective environment the father has meticulously crafted for them. As the parents are forced to invent more and more ridiculous lies to hide the harsh reality of the outside world from them, the family dynamic changes drastically and the kids begin to rely on themselves for life lesson and self-exploration, leading to strange and disastrous results.

The film’s depiction of sexuality and violence is a curious one, as we must force ourselves to disengage from any prior conceptions about such acts, given that the people in this film exist outside of societal norms, which is the whole point of their intensely sexual and violent existences.

It’s an interesting, engaging film, despite a very low energy level and slow pace. Perhaps the film keeps our attention because the pace is so deliberate, so surgical in nature that we’re drawn into the world almost by osmosis. This is not a film for everybody and really only for people willing to be open minded about what constitutes a narrative. at the very least its a highly ambitious film, if not completely successful.

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