still not sure how i feel. it's very close to the director's heart as a native man from a place that so often shuns them. to me there's a lot of poverty porn and dead space. but there's not doubt in my mind it's very culturally significant. i just couldn't take the constant beating down--although i assume that's the point
I was abnormally bored while watching this film. I normally like films with little dialogue, which pay special attention to sound design, which rely on the psychological potency of silent gestures. But this film just fell flat. The absence of style, the absence of story, the absence of characters with whom I can sympathise, its complete inability to emotionally stir me, all combine to make this film a dud.
A powerful if inert look at a familiar country through unfamiliar eyes. While the filmmaking is not especially refined, there are nonetheless potent similarities to the films of Roeg & Herzog; primarily in Thornton's blurring of fiction & documentary, but also in the way the city becomes like an alien landscape when viewed by two people marginalised by the prejudices of contemporary society. Bleak but fascinating.
This film refuses to turn away from the ugliness and violence of dispossession. These kids have nothing, not even themselves. But it never lets us turn away either, and that will be uncomfortable for some, and revelatory for others. Great film-making, and extraordinary, unforgettable performances.