Dir: Srdan Spasojevic, 2010
This review is of the uncut version
Without a doubt, one of the most controversial films that will ever exist in the history of cinema.
And it’s nothing but a lazy, pathetic excuse to get as much vile and sickness on to the screen, under the ludicrous pretence that it’s art and metaphorical.
Milos (Srdan Todorovic) is an ex-porn star and now family man.
Worried about supporting his family, Milos agrees to do another porn film, unaware that he will be taking part in a pornographic snuff film.
This film obliterates any taboo that cinema held.
A metaphor for the rape of his country, Spasojevic fills the screen with extreme imagery that he, thinks, he can legally get away with.
It’s an incredibly troubling film, with underage actors placed in scenes where sexual activity is occuring.
Some films should be challenging and push boundaries. Any theme or topic is suitable subject for a film.
But seeing a man raping a seconds old born baby offers no purpose other than to shock.
Shocking the viewer is fine. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer shocked audiences the world over and has lost none of its power.
Yet, the violence in that wasn’t gratuitous. It was real and believable and was an important element.
Decapitating a woman while having sex with her, offers nothing but cheap thrills to sadists and does not further the plot.
I understand that it’s supposed to be revolting. That’s what murder and paedophilia is.
But do we really need to see the baby being raped?
Everything in this film comes across as desperation to get noticed and cause upset.
Many films have dealt with snuff or the sleazy side of open, and have done so to great effect. Joel Schumacher’s 8MM successfully made you feel dirty but didn’t resort to shock tactics. Paul Schrader’s Hardcore is another film that, ably, exhibits the seedy underbelly of underground porn.
Not surprisingly, the film was highly controversial and banned in several countries.
A screening of the uncut version of the film was to take place at Frightfest, a gala showcasing the latest horror movies in London.
Contrary to popular belief, the BBFC do not have total jurisdiction over what is shown in Britain. A BBFC certificate is required for a film to go on general release, but, any local council has the legal right to overrule the board for that particular town or city.
The British censors, also, do not have any say over what is shown in cinema clubs. A film festival falls under this remit.
However, catching wind about the nature of the film, Westminster council wouldn’t allow the festival to show it until the BBFC had ruled on its legality and whether cuts would be required for the film to be acceptable in Britain.
The board ruled that 49 cuts are needed totalling over four and a half minutes before a certificate could be given.
It was eventually decided to cancel the screening altogether and replace it with a less contentious film.
A Serbian Film is a rancid putrefaction of a movie, with no redeeming qualities made by a director with even less talent.