A while back, I wrote a blog post titled, “The Ten Most Controversial and Disturbing Films Ever.” It’s proven to be the most popular post on my blog by far, although I suspect that’s largely due to the title as it appears in search engines, but nonetheless, I gravitate toward these kinda films. Film that pushes boundaries and sensibilities and then pushes some more, are films I want to see. And especially if they’re deemed controversial and critics say, “Don’t see this.” Yep, like a rebellious teenager, I want to see it.
I had hoped I could find enough films to make a “Top Ten Most Controversial and Disturbing Films Ever: Part II” list, but I don’t yet have enough. With that said, I did watch what many consider the most controversial and disturbing film ever or at least, it features prominently on other lists: A Serbian Film or known by Serbians, Srpski film.
Some say just the short synopsis on Wikipedia is enough to disturb them:
It tells the story of a financially struggling porn star who agrees to participate in an “art film”, only to discover that he has been drafted into a snuff film with child rape and necrophilic themes.
There’s also a specific scene that has caused much outrage and is probably the reason it’s banned in many countries and is considered controversial. I won’t spoil it here, but suffice to say, it was brutal, disgusting and difficult to watch. But, this film is so fucked up, I’m not even sure it is the worst scene in the film. There’s another that contends with it, but again I won’t spoil it.
Now, of course, its director, Srđan Spasojević argues that it has a point beyond its violence and sex. Essentially, to paraphrase his defense of the film: He sees it as not just a meditation on the poor state of films in Serbia, but how much Serbia itself, as a country, has been “raped and pillaged” by outside forces, war and famine and such.
I’m not so sure the film achieved the lofty goals he set out, but there is no doubting that not only is it a well-made film, but it’s also considerably well-acted. And fucked up. Did I mention it’s fucked up? Yeah, it’s pretty fucked up.