Actors: Sergej Trifunovi? Sr?an Todorovi?
Synopsis: A porn star is pulled out of retirement to participate in an "art" film that involves incest, rape, torture, and murder.
To quote Tim Anderson from Bloody-Disgusting.com “You don’t want to see A Serbian Film. You just think you do.” No words could be truer after having witnessed this film in person. Part of the Philadelphia Film Festival, the highly controversial A Serbian Film, made its presence known in a big way. A 90 metaphor of how you are essentially “fucked from birth to death…and even after death” when describing life in Serbia, the film uses grotesque images of horror and pornography to mindrape the viewer into a state of which no movie has ever done before.
I don’t know how many people are in the dark about what the plot is of this film but in the interest of fairness I’ll digress. Milos is a semi-retired porn star that, although happy, is struggling a bit financially. A former co-star presents him with a job that will set him financially straight for the rest of his life and Milos reluctantly accepts. His hesitation is caused by the fact that he is to be kept in the dark about the films plot until the shooting begins. As the filming progresses, Milos quickly finds out that he has been chosen to start in a snuff film that is full of incest, child pornography, and violence. It’s not until Milos tries to walk off the set do things get interesting. Three days later Milos awakens in his home bloody and drugged up. He goes back to the movie studio where he finds a set of videotapes that show Milos what horrors he has participated in during the last three days.
At the films conclusion, I can without a doubt say that I’ve seen it all. I’m just not so sure how I really feel about that. For a lot of the films more horrible scenes, I found myself slightly disturbed. I’ve seen so many horror and exploitation films that it’s hard to get me to react anymore. I’ve become desensitized to it. However, A Serbian Film found the few things that were left to my imagination. Actually come to think of it, these things weren’t even in my imagination as I’m not that much of a sicko to even think of these things. The two major scenes in question are when the main character is tricked into sodomizing his 8 year old son and when the character that is directing this sick film shows Milos a “newborn porn” video. For both of these scenes I was told they occurred off camera and were merely suggested. Nope. The reviews that said this are nothing more than a bunch of liars. The “baby” scene is one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever witnessed. I will never be able to unsee that scene. I contemplated puking while it was occurring.
I stated in the opening paragraph that those responsible for the creation of this film wanted to drive home the political message of how terrible life in Serbia is. I understood each and every metaphor that was used in this film. However, I can’t help but think that there would have been much different and less demoralizing ways of getting the point across in an equal fashion. The pure shock of the films degrading scenes comes will lose a lot of the message with people. There were more than once where I found myself saying “This scene is useless”. I think that the shock and the now word of mouth reaction it’s getting is exactly what the director was going for. Instead of building a completely solid film without relying on a gimmick, they shot for the moon and hit another universe with pure filth. People will search this movie out simply to see if it’s worth the hype.
The sad thing is, if they removed a lot shocking scenes they would have a pretty decent film on their hands. Watching Milos use the videotapes to retrace his steps to find out what he did during his blackout state was an interesting storyline. The plot, acting, and cinematography were all pretty above par for what I expected. It’s a shame that they had to go and ruin it with all the garbage they felt they just had to include.
I’m sure there are some “artists” that will tell me that I just don’t get it. Well if that’s the case, I don’t really want to. I understood the political message but they could have gone about this in a much more tactful way. I really don’t want to recommend this film to anyone. While everything that happens in this film is without a doubt fake, it still touches subject matter that really no film should talk about….much less show it. I saw this film simply because I felt like I needed to. If a film was going to push the boundaries that much, it wasn’t something I was going to miss. This is a film that will definitely earn its spot in cinema history, I’m still debating whether or not that I know I’m apart of that now.