In Possession, Sam Neill plays a Spy who has come back to west Berlin after spending some time on assignment on the other side of the Berlin Wall. Upon arriving home he finds his marriage is slowly disintegrating and his wife has taken up with a new man called Heinrich, a free-spirited libertarian. However, as he investigates he discovers there is another lover in the mix, and uncovers a dark secret that his wife has been keeping from both him and Heinrich. Her new lover isn't human and she will kill to protect it!.
It's curious that Second Sight decided to release this so close to David Cronenberg's THE BROOD The Brood (Blu Ray) [Blu-ray
] Both films are about the disintegration of the nuclear family in a bitter divorce and both films have their lead female protagonist give birth to a metaphor made flesh. In the case of THE BROOD Samantha Eggar's character gave birth to a physical manifestation of her rage, in POSSESSION Isabelle Adjani gives birth to something with a more political context than the psychological one seen in the Cronsnberg film. Set in Berlin and featuring plenty of shots of the Wall, and the guards observing things through binoculars, the film is set in a city divided both physically and psychologically. In essence the city is as divided as the characters who bicker, scream and self-harm and show little awareness of the people around them. As things continue to fall apart in their private lives, and the characters grow ever madder and the plot gets stranger, we get the impression the world itself is falling to pieces. It's also worth noting director Zulawski made this film after the sudden ending of his marriage (his wife ran of with a man named Heinrich) and the ending of his last film at the hands of Poland's Communist government so there is a strong element of autobiography to the film as well.
So then, anyone who says that horror films can't be intelligent or have anything to say about the world should really be directed to this wonderful and strange movie that sits nicely on the shelf next to the works of Jodorowsky, Lynch and Cronenberg. Previously banned in the United Kingdom by idiots who didn't really 'get' it. The film is now out on Blu-ray from second sight with a wealth of extras including two commentary tracks, a 51 minute making of, interviews and more. For the most part the picture quality is excellent, there is some 'noise' however in some of the darker scenes that gets quite noticeable, it doesn't look like DNR as there's plenty of detail in the image. I suspect it may be due to the source material showing it up in HD but i'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me might have an answer.
Overall though it's the best release of the film to date. I have the Anchor bay US release and the previous Second sight DVD release and this is still a noticeable step up from those. If you have not seen the film yet I urge you to buy it immediately and watch it. It's a genuinely brilliant slice of cinema. It nearly won at Cannes, and Isabelle Adjani won for her insane and over the top performance which was criticized by some critics but suits the tone of the film perfectly.