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Föreningen Film i Malmö presents
In a corrupt and broken Mexican society, Heli sees an innocent family bring violent retribution on themselves when they unwittingly cross a brutal drug cartel.
CAUTION! Brutality discussed below.
Winner of the Best Director in 2013’s Cannes Film Festival, director/writer Amat Escalante’s film starts with one of the most arresting opening scenes ever. On the metal floor in the back of a pick-up as it bumps along a dusty road, a boot crushes a bloodied head. It’s a very long take and eventually the camera pulls back to show there are two bodies, both bloodstained, one half-naked – maybe unconscious, maybe dead. When it eventually stops, one body is taken out by a group of men in uniform and hanged, dangled from a pedestrian bridge over a road.
It’s Escalante’s third movie after Sangre and Los Bastardos, set in Guanajuato where he grew up, a region where drug violence is notoriously rife. He says people there live in fear, and killings, decapitations and hangings are shown without restraint in the media. All the parts are played by non-professional actors, except for Ramon Alvarez, and Escalante gets powerful performances from them.
Of the resonant opening scene, Escalente says, “I always intended to start the film with this image: a man hanging above a bridge. This image is very common in Mexico. You see that sort of thing all the time in newspapers. I wanted to show it outside of its context, and then go back along the narrative thread to reveal the reality it encloses. Behind each image like that, there is a human tragedy, innocent victims of indiscriminate violence. In short, a story that has to be told, otherwise people will always reassure themselves by thinking that the man hanging above that bridge deserved it.”
(written excerpt by ALEXA DALBY )
A couple in a troubled marriage locate a meteorite, initiating an encounter with a mysterious creature. Their lives are turned upside down by the discovery of the creature, which is a source of both pleasure and destruction.
Thick with a heady fog of lustful yearning, Amat Escalante’s The Untamed probes humanity’s collective fears and hypocrisies around sex while preserving the fundamental strangeness of the libido, the way it ruptures our naïvely constructed notions of righteousness and decency even as it’s routinely suppressed by them. Beneath the thin patina of civilization lies the boiling cauldron of carnality, which, in Escalante’s lunatic vision, is physically embodied by a monstrous, phallus-tentacled alien life form that gives some people untold sexual gratification and causes unspeakable violence to others.
We first glimpse the alien in the film’s startling opening sequence, which shows a meteorite lurching through space, a woman being pleasured by a tentacle, and the woman, bleeding from a gash on her side, limping through a thick mist to her motorcycle. These images teem with an ominous portent that lingers throughout The Untamed, even as Escalante shifts his focus away from the mysterious extraterrestrial and toward a social-realist melodrama centering on the densely interlocking relationships of his main characters.
(written excerpt by)