Nov 21, 2010

Kynodontas - Dogtooth, 2009

Kynodontas - Dogtooth, 2009
Director: Giorgios Lanthimos
Cast: Cristos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Aggeliki Papoulia, Mary Tsoni

Stage: Home theatre, the middle of the night.

Kynodontas in short: Three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could very well be on another planet. The trio spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary. Any word that comes from beyond their family abode is instantly assigned a new meaning. Hence 'the sea' refers to a large armchair and 'zombies' are little yellow flowers. Having invented a brother whom they claim to have ostracized for his disobedience, the uber-controlling parents terrorize their offspring into submission. The father is the only family member who can leave the manicured lawns of their self-inflicted exile, earning their keep by managing a nearby factory, while the only outsider allowed on the premises is his colleague Christina, who is paid to relieve the son of his male urges. Tired of these dutiful acts of carnality, Christina enlists the elder daughter for some girl-on-girl action, carelessly disturbing the domestic balance. Soon enough, sex has spread throughout the household like fire. Next stop: rebellion.

Preps: A good recommendation made me watch this as I was unable to sleep and have just got this on my PC. But I don't know anything about the movie as I enter play.

Reality: Confusion in the first ten minutes continues with a weird feeling that I know what I am watching. Although I still don't want to believe this. But it is. The story of Austrian Fritzl, just thrown in a greek environment and entering a couple decision instead of single decision (of a single man). The greek couple decide to raise their children isolated. Teaching them words that are supposed to mean something completely else, making them dance in front of their parents in the weirdest way possible, renting a security guard female prostitute to make sure the boy remains sexually satisfied.. more and more weird scenes enter the stage as my feelings boost and my wondering increases. The way the austrian kept his family in the basement is pretty much similar, although the children here have the big garden with a pool and to some objective level one might think that they lack nothing.

Nothing but human touch per se - they don't have interactions with other people.. Amazing to what you can convince people (the cat is the deadliest animal ever and we need protection; we need to vacume clean to get rid of bacteria "xxxalis", a zombie is a cute small yellow flower.. there is no limit to what those kids believe to be the truth. And honestly, if someone that you respect and is your father/mother is the only person you see the entire life, who are you gonna believe - of course them. And accept silly punishment because you think you deserve it.

On the other hand, it impresses me that a couple would decide to go this far with the raising of the kids. I cannot imagine this to be the work of two individuals. Merely one, convincing / or blackmailing the other to do the same. In this sense, I am still confused and thinking about this piece. Although filled with silly situations and weird sexual scenes, the movie gives me the creeps and makes me being grateful for the liberty I am indulging.

My personal rating: 8,0 (for the sake of weird ending and some impossible-to-believe scenes. Apart from that, a superb piece, makes you think about people like Fritzl even more and appreciate liberty)

Kynodontas on IMDB

Kynodontas home page

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