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Dr FIGJAM (New Zealand)

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Snowtown [DVD] [2011]
Snowtown [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Daniel Henshall

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blisteringly chilling and brutal, 8 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Snowtown [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
As I entered the Auckland Festival screening of this film a couple of minutes late the usher said to me 'I don't know why you're going to see this film, it's awful'.

The truth is that this film is brilliant. However it is almost too good at portraying a truly awful story.

As doctor of psychiatry (who grew up just a few kilomettres from where these killings occurred) watching this film is like a case study in psychopathy in the clinical definition. This is not the charming Hannibal Lecter. This is not even the semi-charming but terrifying Chopper as portrayed in the other Australian serial killer movie. As described by the previous reviewer - this is the intersection of the believably mundane, the lower socio-economic drudgery of life in neglected, bigoted, dysfunctional, abusive communities and those rare cases of the true psychopath who can flourish in this environment.

This film tells two stories. It tells the story of growth of a serial killer from sociopath to wanton murderer, as seen through the eyes of teenage boy on the periphery. However it also tells the story of that boy and the sorts of social conditions that create such horrible possibilities. This is not just a story and it is most certainly not just a horror movie. It is commentary on human behaviour and how such unthinkable behaviour can come to be.

I love a good, disturbing film but this had me questioning my my presence in the cinema. This is definitely not a film for the faint of heart. Interestingly, at the Director/Main Actor Q&A session after the Auckland screening one audience member said 'If you had showed one more murder, you would've lost me'. Watch the film (if you can stomach it), then revisit this statement.

I do recommend this film for lovers of excellent film making and story telling. I also recommend this film for anyone with an interest in psychiatry, mental health, forensics or social (in)justice (see also my Listmania 'Pop culture for psychiatry and psychology').

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