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A Serbian Film Review

Parading around as if controversy of this nature can be churned into thrilling elements, A Serbian Film offers a despondent, reactionary thriller that cannot and will not be contained by a director who, among other words, strikes me as a disgusting, vile, repugnant human being. He shows as much on this feature film, a narrative woven with degeneracy, nauseating moments and not a single second of value or worth from either an artistic standpoint or that of entertainment. This film is neither, it flies so far away from being anything even remotely palatable that I struggle to find a single moment within that would make this film at all necessary to watch.

A jaded, fading pornstar finds himself participating in one final film of dubious and mysterious quality. Aggressive sexuality and degradation of anyone that isn’t our leading man can be expected, and it’s quite disgusting. Unable to hide behind the excuse of mere artistic experimentation, A Serbian Film goes far beyond what should be accepted from cinema. It’s not here to make a statement or to understand a wider meaning, it is made to exploit, and director Srđan Spasojević clearly gets a kick out of being a horrible degenerate, putting to film acts that should never be discussed, let alone profiled like this.

Heavily implying pornography is art and not exploitation at every chance it can, A Serbian Film isn’t just a repugnant vision of a disturbed mind, it’s also incredibly dull. Lots of aimless sex scenes where Spasojević presents his lack of artistic ambition and general inability to conjure up engaging content. These scenes feel like a mere series of distractions, intended to coax a reaction out of the audience due entirely to its depravity, and not because of the message it wishes to send. What message it sends, I truly do not know, A Serbian Film strikes me as not having the strength in either writing or direction to have one whatsoever. The film leaps between gross, sickening scenes and genuinely dumb character progression, it’s a mixture of moments that will rile up an audience, and won’t be sure why.

Absolutely repugnant to its core, exploiting just about every woman on the screen, A Serbian Film is rightfully controversial, on the grounds that it looks to offend, rather than engage with the reactions of its audience. It’s here to cause outrage, not to discuss it, but even then, it wouldn’t have made this low-quality nonsense worth the watch. Quite possibly one of the most disturbed films I have seen, not something that wishes to engage with any modicum of discussion, but something that is solely created to offend and hinder art as we know it. A dosing of bleach to the eyes would be thoroughly recommended should you ever see a second of this horrible, unpalatable disgrace.

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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