Friday, August 10, 2018

Trauma (2018) Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema 2018

Warning: Due to the extreme graphic content of this film, absolutely no one under the age of 18 will be permitted. I.D.’s will be checked at the door.
**Absolutely no refunds will be given under any circumstances, including walk-outs.
That is the warning given on the Kew Gardens website for TRAUMA and it makes it clear they are expecting walkout- and they will get them in abundance. I'm convinced that the film was programmed with an eye toward both clearing the out the theater and locating the psychopaths that lurk in the borough (I hope they cart off anyone who stays to the end).

The film is essentially 106 minutes of brutality committed toward women as some friends go on vacation and are brutalized by the people they find there. It somehow relates to the evils of the past but I never really cared since I was disconnected from the start when a son is forced to rape his mother by his father who just beat him half to death. It gets uglier from there. Care Bears this is not.

I don't care that this film is supposed to reflect the pain and suffering of what happened in Argentina, this film is damn close to being morally reprehensible and is ultimately nothing more than torture porn. It's so far removed from the other films playing at the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema that I would love to know which of the programmers picked it and then make sure they get psychological help.

My objection to the film is not because I don't like it but rather it is just ugliness for no real reason. Yes, I don't like the film, but I  hate the whole torture porn genre on the face of it.  Unless you can justify it some how (MARTYRS anyone?) I don't get the point of watching people brutalize each other to the point of death, more so when it is misogynistic .

To be honest the reason I'm getting my panties in a bunch is two fold- first this film being at Kew Gardens is a huge WTF. I've seen a chunk of the features and there is nothing close to this at the festival. If the film had played at Fantasia or one of the genre festivals I wouldn't have paid it any mind. Not only would I have paid it no mind I wouldn't have reviewed it. But with in the context of a sweet neighborhood festival this film doesn't belong. It's too much of a left turn into genre.

Additionally what the hell is this doing at a festival in the #metoo era? How can a festival justify showing a film that begins with not only an ugly rape but one that ups the ante several times, and which then proceeds to brutalize women, children and men for another 100 minutes? And while I'm sure there are reasons, why do you inflict a film like this on your patrons who are probably not going to be ready for it? This is like a 50 on a scale of 10.

And yes it's really well done, but I don't see any point other than to show the carnage. If I saw the reason I could accept the film. But there is no reason for the film to exist other than button pushing and no reason to be playing at Kew other than a mistake.

Trauma plays tonight at Kew Gardens at midnight and is not recommended for anyone other than torture porn fans and sociopaths.

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