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A film about a family that keeps their children (teenagers, almost twens, actually) in complete ignorance about the outside world, locks them into their house and garden and tells them the outside world is plagued by man-eating cats? Just my kind of movie! Of course bringing in the outside to provide a pressure valve for the boy’s sexual steampot sets off all the audience’s alarms about not being a good idea. However well designed, all order eventually slips into chaos, and the chaos in this film is violent and existential. It seems the author wants to stress that the violence is coming from inside, and the need to interact with the outside world, to  socialise and compromise is what keeps us from being barabrious, barbie-doll-torturing monsters – which is an interesting counter-position to the often-repeated notion that violence would be a product of environment. So this little nasty Greek movie manages by way of absurd theatre (could have been von Trier) to get across some ideas in an original and (if your taste is a little bit off, as mine is) entertaining fashion. Well done, one of the most interesting films I have seen this year.

Dogtooth 2009.

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