mon 14/10/2019

DVD: Miss Violence | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Miss Violence

DVD: Miss Violence

This disturbing depiction of patriarchal domination is difficult to watch

An innocent family portrait? Or something altogether darker?

The sign of a good film is one that lingers, one that you return to after days, months or even years – a snapshot of an image, a feeling that struck a chord within you, a memorable character that inspired or excited, or a line that you just can’t shake. But what of one that does the total opposite, that makes you appalled and apathetic in equal measure so that you to want to forget it immediately and never return to it?

An 11-year-old girl jumps to her death from the balcony of her family’s apartment on the day of her birthday. To begin with, every line of Miss Violence could be misconstrued or misinterpreted and you wonder whether the implications are innocent or something far darker, until the sickening inevitable is revealed.

In Greek writer-director Alexandros Avranas’ film, men are portrayed as predators (chiefly the Grandfather, Themis Panou), women of three generations retreat into themselves until they become unresponsive (Eleni Roussinou, Sissy Toumasi, Reni Pittaki) and anger is incited after the rape of a child (Kalliopi Zontanou). 

Miss ViolenceThis is all presented with bleak detachment, from the colour of the scenery and the birds' eye views to the gross sense of calm that pervades any action.

But what is the point of this? A portrait of evil? A depiction of Stockholm Syndrome? Or to make something controversial and uncomfortable just because you can? There is nothing tangible on offer – no arc to invest in, no rounded characters to relate to, no sense of justice prevailing.

While this is reflective of the nature of the acted abhorrence, the muted emotion, withdrawn characters, isolation and disconnect render the film irresolute. While the ending is just and fitting, having been subjected to brutality that leaves you feeling for the women in the film, you are even denied a satisfying retribution scene. Films don’t always have to have closure, reconciliation, a happy ending or even a traditional structure. But they do need something more than shock subject matter with no redeeming features.

Overleaf: watch the trailer for Miss Violence

But what is the point of this? A portrait of evil? A depiction of Stockholm Syndrome?

rating

Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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