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July 23rd, 2014

Torture Porn Redefined: Dressing Down A Serbian Film

Torture Porn Redefined: Dressing Down A Serbian FilmDisclaimer #1: Please be aware that the following post is going to contain explicit language of a sexual and violent nature. It is possible that just reading such graphically disturbing behavior may become uncomfortable and even insulting. The descriptions are to serve explaining the events of the film and my opinion of what had transpired. Only those of a mature age and mind should subject themselves to this content.

Disclaimer #2: The following post will contain heavy spoiler for A SERBIAN FILM and should only be read if you have seen the film, don’t want to see the film but want to know what happens or want to see it but still want to know what happens before subjecting yourself to it. This is not the only post floating around the web which spoils the events of the film and this disclaimer is to warn the reader so that there is no outrage to reading the spoilers as you have been pre-warned. As mentioned before the post will be explicit in nature so do not continue if you have any reservations to sexually explicit and violent material.

I’ve never wished censorship on any film I have seen in my life; A SERBIAN FILM [A Serbian Film Movie Review]might be the film that comes along and breaks that trend. I firmly believe in being able to create without limitations and the freedom to do so without persecution and now I feel like I have to say I believe in these principals, but within reason. Once you start crossing lines rather they are morally or when it comes to the breaking of law. Sure we see movies where murder is depicted in great detail or theft, but where do we draw the lines. I feel like A SERBIAN FILM has really taken liberties with our rights to create art and the following will serve as my justification for why I feel like the filmmakers behind A SERBIAN FILM have gone too far, even if they try to justify the material as a commentary on the persecution of the people in Serbia by the government in a war torn country. Certain aspects of the film I was perfectly ok with and the twist of the film shocked me but left me feeling unjustly sick and depressed. I am old fashioned like that, I like my movies to be entertaining and to challenge me; I do not like heavy handed political agendas, especially ones that only seem like political sentiments in passing and the events of the film do not seem necessary to convey that message. Maybe I just don’t get it, which is not completely impossible, but I am still a fan of cinema and have my own set of morals and threshold of what I can handle, and while I can handle A SERBIAN FILM I cannot morally accept its message as it is presented.

BEGIN SPOILERS!

Torture Porn Redefined: Dressing Down A Serbian Film

The Story: The film opens with a young boy watching a pornographic film as a man walks into the room. The man is the actor featured in the adult film and his name is Milos, who is an out of work adult film actor, and the boy is his son, Petar. Milos and his wife, Marija, are facing financial woes as they chip away from the money Milos has saved from his work as a porn actor. Milos is contacted by a former co-star, Lejia, who informs Milos that an ambitious art film director, Vukmir, wants to hire him for a film but insists that Milos cannot know any specifics regarding what the film is about. The perks of accepting the job involve getting a large sum of money that will set Milos’ family up for the rest of their lives. Milos’ brother, Marko, is a cop with a habit of doing checks on Milos’ business friends but finds nothing overly suspicious about Vukmir. Marko also secretly has the hots for Milos’ wife which is evident as he visits her about doing a language translation for him and he stares longingly at her before excusing himself to the bathroom where he masturbates after their conversation; also, later on Marko receives oral sex from a prostitute while he watches their home videos and one of Milos’ adult films.

Meanwhile, each day a car awaits Milos outside his home to take him to the shoot. He arrives at a building that houses orphans and is directed via an earpiece where to do and how to act. He is eventually led to a room by a woman who performs felatio on Milos in front of two video screens that show two young girls, one applying makeup and licking her lips and the other performing suggestively on a popsicle.

For the next session Milos is led into a room with a woman being beaten. The woman approaches Milos and as she begins to perform on him he notices a young girl watching them and he pushes the woman away insisting he cannot work under these conditions. Milos is grabbed from behind and the woman thrust towards him and bites down on his penis. Vukmir demands that he hit the woman and when he does she continues to hold on until he hits her a couple more times. She then lets go and begins to masturbate Milos all the way to fruition with his semen landing on her face while she is crying. Milos punches the man that was holding him and storms out.

The Shocks: From here on out things start to go violently downhill. Milos heads out to tell Vukmir he no longer wants to participate. Vukmir pleads with Milos to stay and explains his work as a child psychologist. Vukmir proceeds to show Milos a video he made that shows a pregnant woman that is clearly moments from giving birth. A burly man walks on screen wearing a shirt and underwear, puts on gloves and helps the woman deliver the baby (in graphic detail). Once the newborn baby is fully out of the womb the man holds the still bloody infant up, pulls down his underwear and proceeds to rape the infant to death. Milos, understandably upset, storms out of the room. While in his car he is approached by a woman who tries to seduce him and Milos awakes in his bed bloody and notices it is three days since he stormed out but no memory of what happened in those three days.

Milos returns to solve the puzzle of what happened to him and finds a series of tapes. He takes each tape and watches them in an attempt to put the last three days together, while also having brief flashbacks of what happened. He eventually finds that he was drugged into a sexually charged state and convinced to have sex with a woman chained to a bed. As he is having sex with her, Vukmir screams at Milos to hit her and Milos does so brutally before a man forces a machete into his hand and Vukmir yells at Milos to strike her. Milos strikes down with the machete repeatedly until he has severed the woman’s head and he continues to have sex furiously with her convulsing body. Milos also sees a tape of himself chained to a bed unconscious as two men enter and one of the proceeds to rape Milos. The last tape he watches features Lejia, who in a previous tape yelled at Vukmir for what he’s done to Milos before explaining she and Milos would no longer work for him. Lejia is chained in the middle of a room all of her teeth have been ripped out with pliers and a hooded man enters the scene and forces his penis down Lejia’s throat and proceeds to hold her nose shut thus causing Lejia to suffocate.

Milos then takes clues from the tapes he’s watched as well as visions from his flashbacks to lead him to a new location. When he walks in he sees several dead bodies peppering the floor and a stationary camera by the bed in the middle of the room. We then see what transpired in this room as it begins with Milos being drugged again before he grabs the doctor’s needle to drug her as well. Milos walks into the set and is pointed towards the bed with two bodies lying on it and the upper torso covered by the sheets. Milos begins raping one of the bodies before switching over and begins raping the second body. Then the hooded man comes in and starts raping the first body; Vukmir removes the man’s hood revealing the man to be Milos’ brother, Marko. Milos is noticeably put off by seeing his brother on set with him as Vukmir removes the sheet to reveal the body Marko is raping is Milos’ wife, Marija, who has been drugged and the body Milos has been burtally raping is Milos’ young son, Petar, who has also been drugged. Milos then attacks Vukmir, beating his head on the ground, wrestles a gun from the guard and shoots the guards dead, except one which he wounds and then sticks his erect penis in the guards eye socket and has sex with the wound until the man dies. Marija regains consciousness, attacks Marko and beats him to death before Milos knocks her out and takes her and Petar back home.

The Ending: As if things aren’t bad enough at this point, the end of the film insists at crushing our senses even further. Milos now remembering he locked his family in a room then returns home to console them. He appears to be on the verge of committing suicide with a gun before his wife comforts him. We then see the two of them lying face to face in bed with Petar sleeping in the middle of them. Then we see that Milos is holding the gun behind his wife and that they have positioned themselves to die simultaneously with one bullet. The camera cuts outside as we hear the gunshot sound off.

One would assume that maybe the horror is over and we have endured enough, and you’d be wrong. The camera comes back inside and we see the trio of lifeless bodies lying in their own blood on the bed. Three men seen earlier in the film are standing in the room with a camera set up pointing at the bed. One of the men then signals one of the other men to go to the bed and then says, “Start with the little one,” as the man unbuttons his pants, and then finally the title card and credits.

Torture Porn Redefined: Dressing Down A Serbian Film

Now if nothing I’ve just talked about strikes you as inappropriate then maybe I wasn’t clear enough. There is graphic depiction of a seconds old infant being raped to death and a father raping his own young son to the point of anal bleeding. There is no one, including the director, that can come up with any combination of words to form an excuse that would make me feel ok about seeing the rape and murder (though obviously fake) of an infant. I cannot fathom rape of any kind for that matter but the depiction in movies has been done time and time again in films like IRREVERSIBLE, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT to name a few, so that is nothing new or profound; but to exploit and depict it happening to kids is just wrong no matter what type of political message you are trying to get across. I’ve read time and time again the director defend his choices by saying that the film represents the molestation of the Serbian people and that you have to feel the violence to understand it. I may not be able to put myself in the mindset of a person from the country, so I don’t want my remarks to seem insensitive, but I can’t even begin to imagine why anyone could want to exploit children in this way. I can understand an allegory that has to deal with the defilement of innocence but isn’t there a way to imply this sort of message without showing it to us in such a graphic and disturbing way. I do not connect with filmmakers who want to appear as if they are smarter and wiser than everyone in the room, and it’s a tragically flawed way to approach filmmaking; you can challenge viewers without degrading and subjecting them to this. I can appreciate a good metaphor, but when does it go beyond simply making a passing political statement; after watching this film and read statements by the filmmakers I still don’t agree or feel their message was put across very well, the only thing that stuck with me was that everything I felt was crossing the line was simply there to shock me, and the filmmakers are justifying this by saying they meant to symbolize how the Serbian people are forced to do things they wouldn’t want to do. If that’s the case I think it would have been just as easy to make an effective film that doesn’t show men sodomizing their own children and raping infants to death; what kind of political statement can one make by depicting a man shoving his penis into another man’s eye socket? I hate feeling like there’s something I just don’t get after I watch a film and there’s just something about A SERBIAN FILM that I just don’t fully understand, which may be more a fault of my own comprehension, then a fatal flaw of filmmaking, but who knows maybe it’s both.

I initially thought maybe I was being too hard on the films material, wondering if it presented a specific resemblance to things that happen in a film like OLDBOY (which I don’t want to spoil for anyone not familiar with the twists of that film), but came down that while the act is similar, there are specific differences that make A SERBIAN FILM’s representation far more disturbing and sexually deviant. The three main disturbances of the film are not new to horror movies, such as necrophilia (see AFTERMATH), rape (examples mentioned before) and incest; it’s the way it’s presented that makes it cross boundaries, such as the sex being performed in front of underage children, implying and encouraging the main character to take an underage child’s virginity and going so far as to graphically depict a father raping his own underage son. I’ve explained my distaste for the inclusion of such a graphic scene and while I may not agree with it and it is with a heavy heart that I have to admit that the reveal was effectively shocking, which can be seen as the filmmaker succeeding in creating an experience that illicit distinct feelings even if they are out of disgust. The film festival screenings and Serbian release have been seeing the uncut version but as it rolls out to UK theaters and to a DVD release it has become the most censored release in quite some time with over 40 cuts being made that total over four minutes of footage, likely being the visuals of penis insertion, bodily fluids being dispersed, the infant rape and the shots of Milos from behind raping his son. All of these cuts are in my opinion smart and deserved, and quite possibly make for a more enjoyable film. When I say enjoyable I simply mean more tolerable; the subject matter will still be dark and controversial but some of these visuals just do not seem like necessary evils to push across the message.

The reality of the controversy the film has created is that once it’s more widely known and viewed it could reach a cult status. There will be people like me that never want to endure this ever again and there will be people that believe this is a work of pure genius and have it in regular rotation in their DVD player. I am not here to judge people for liking the movie because I can see people liking it and why they might like it. I actually enjoyed more than half of the material but despise certain aspects. It really is one of the first movies in my life that has left me so conflicted and has challenged me so much as it has. Questionable themes are nothing new to films I’ve watched in the past few years and I always welcome films that challenge me, and A SERBIAN FILM really caught me off guard despite my awareness of certain details. I know my recommendations to stay away and detailed description will not deter anyone from seeing this, but actually encourage people to see it for themselves and decide if it really is that bad. The film is a perfect example of the phrase that no press is bad press, because the more people talk about it the more its name gets out there and starts attracting audience’s curiosity. The internal conflict that people like me have to contemplate is if a film like A SERBIAN FILM sees adequate financial success is that a win for the genre we can be ok with. Right now, I feel like despite my problems with the film, I’m optimistic that not every film made in the wake of this will follow suit and try to push even more boundaries. In fact, the reality is that a film like this will only wake up the executives that regulate if this material can ever see the light of day and it’ll become less likely this kind of sexual violence will ever see the big screen again. If I’m wrong, then I don’t know where extreme cinema can possibly go after this.

On a final note, if you have a continued interest in the type of underground cinema that A SERBIAN FILM would feel right at home in, I also had a chance to watch a faux doc by J.T. Petty that explores the world of underground snuff films called, S&MAN that is also very interesting and disturbing in its own right. It takes a strong will and stomach to endure the horrors lurking in the frames of A SERBIAN FILM, and it often left me with more questions than I would have liked. I find it really hard to believe that anyone would want to come out and say that they found this movie to be pure entertainment and that they had no reservations with what it shows the audience, but after thinking I would never see anything like this before I have to say, stranger things have happened. I am not 100% against the existence of A SERBIAN FILM; my point is simply that I find a majority of the shocks in this film in poor taste. Opinions are what keep us as fans passionate about the film industry and what keep the minds that come up with our weekly cinema adventures coming up with new ideas; and if anything can be said about A SERBIAN FILM, at least it has the balls to be as uncompromising and shocking as it is, plus it’s not a remake.

Torture Porn Redefined: Dressing Down A Serbian Film




16 Comments


  1. Anonymous

    I read as far as the infant rape and stopped. This movie sounds completely F’d up!


  2. David Anthony

    I fear that I may be a severely twisted individual, as I just did not find this film all that shocking. There are scenes in Miike’s “Dead or Alive” and “Ichi the Killer” (among others) that jarred me a lot more than anything in this film. I also wasn’t surprised by MOST of the twists in this film. Other things, like the fact that the main character was involved in pornography, and more so that his family had been exposed to this, really peeled away a lot of the sexual shock for me. Had this been the “wholesome family” thrown into the mess, maybe I would care more.

    Anyway, I thought it was a great movie. Except for the skullf$%k scene. That was just retarded. But I really think too much is being made of the content in this film. It’s seriously not that bad in my opinion. The fact that it is soooo heavily glossed just makes it too stylized for me to care.


  3. Your GF bores me

    Wow, horrible, self pious, nanny state review.


    • Idiot

      Everything that I disagree with is self-righteous, nanny-state bullshit too, because I’m always right about everything. But wait, what if everyone uses that logic… NOOOOO!!!!


  4. Shocked

    There is no political message in the film. It is just the product of a twisted mind!


  5. Tester

    Great cinematography, great direction, great acting. Plus, it’s a fictional thing where nobody gets physically damaged. Incredible that this movie is banned and “Faces Of Death” gets a release.


  6. Mamamexxx

    here is also many movies http://filmai.in/uzeik-358888.html, but this one was nice.


  7. Anon

    I have heard news accounts from war zones, Iraq and parts of Africa in particular, of captives being forced to watch and even participate in the rape of their own children. Who’s to say that such horrors didn’t also occur in war-torn Serbia? Who’s to say whether the filmmakers’ families and neighbors weren’t victims or witnesses? These things are done to women and children in wars all over the world. Everything described in this film probably did happen and is still happening in those “secret Eastern European prisons” that people whisper about. I’m personally more outraged by that reality than by any movie. I am free to get up and walk out of a movie if I’m upset, shocked, repulsed, sickened, offended, or otherwise horrified by what I see. Unlike a tortured, raped, or dead Serb, Albanian, or Guantanamo detainee.


    • EM0208

      Well, first you have to get your facts strait…The war in Balcan was caused from the Serbian Goverment, and the Serbs attacked Bosnia and Herzegovina. The entire war happened in Bosnian territory, so the Serbian people were safe. All this horrible things that happened in this repulsive movie were actually happening all over Bosnia, and Bosnian people were the ones that endured the torture for 5 years…and btw the war ended 15 years ago, and this movie isn’t absolutely talking about that…as the director said, it talks about “some oppression that is put on Serbian people”…so, I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t mix the politics in it, cause you don’t know really anything about it…Serbian people killed 10 000 men on one day in Srebrenica, and today they say that never happened…believe me, they are good at playing victims…but, this movie is just a work of someone who wants attention and doesn’t know how to get it in a proper way…


      • whateverbuddy

        No , you are the one that needs to get your facts straight . Serbs live in Bosnia and it has been proven that roughly equal number of people from all ethnic groups were killed in that conflict . The war was started because Bosnia declared independence and the Bosnian Serbs revolted . They don’t want to be in your country and they don’t consider it a country at all . You also have your numbers incorrect about how many men were killed at Srebrenica by a factor of 5 . Everytime the official numbers are lowered , you guys increase them to your liking .


  8. A couple of observations.

    First, we know from the history of the Roman Empire that during the decline the “best” seats at the coliseum were the seats closest to the gore. And the gore was live and in three dimensions. Both men and women openly masturbated in the stands, excited by the torture and murder of the gladiators. Prostitutes waited outside the coliseum waiting for customers because they knew that violence was sexually stimulating.

    Up until the French Revolution, in Europe public executions lasted for hours during which time the victims were tortured before being executed. The French expression “coup de grace” was used to describe the merciful final death blow given to the victim who always begged to be killed. Casanova reports in his memoirs that the ladies loved to go to these events and he did also because he knew it was the best aphrodisiac and that he would usually have a success afterwards.

    All this is to say that none of this is new. When I was a small boy, I learned to look at horror films with a realistic eye so that I wouldn’t be scared to death. I laughed inwardly at the fake blood and phony screams. But later, seeing films such as Pulp Fiction and Bound, I began to be insulted and outraged at the gratuitous violence. It wasn’t that I couldn’t draw back and see the action as contrived and unreal. That’s always possible. But I realized that what we were seeing was a devolving American social and psychological reality which is parallel to what occurred in the Roman Empire.

    Second, we have to realize that both north America and Spanish America began in the most terrible violence, not just perpetrated on the native Americans but inspired by them. North American Indians were proud, for example, of being able to withstand any torture and our New England ancestors came from a medieval England where torture devices had developed into the most horrible machines imaginable and which are still on display in British museums. Slavery was another brutalizing institution which relied on torture to keep slaves from running away. The Aztec civilization was based on human sacrifice and possibly cannibalism.

    The brutality of the Vietnam War and all American wars has been censored and we are not even allowed to see, on television, corpses coming back from the Middle East. But we know that all wars, from the conquest of Mexico to the American Civil War and from Vietnam to the Serbian war, are brutal and bloody messes that are usually described by the shorthand words, “war is hell.”

    This film is an attempt to show us what governments have kept secret from the beginning and what people do not want to think about, hear about and especially see and yet they send their teenage boys and girls experience these things as soldiers.

    When society puts people into pathological life situations, including brutal wars, they become pathological. Whether it is a good thing to see these things or not has always been the censor’s dilemma and it goes back at least as far as Plato and is discussed in the Republic.

    What we know for sure is that most people would rather watch soap operas. The second thing, which is just as clear, is that Americans are losing their freedoms and don’t seem to notice or care.


  9. LocalHero

    “I know my recommendations to stay away and detailed description will not deter anyone from seeing this,..”

    Not true! I have no intention of financing this kind of soulless drek by buying a ticket and may have been seduced by the idea that it was an allegory about war. I appreciate the review & will stay as far away from this filth as possible.


  10. jerry

    I have simple questions. Who enjoys such films? It neither sexually stimulating nor a person with a sane mind can like it. It is for and by the maniacs.


  11. Hank

    Why do people even have to leave a comment on crap?? Life has many good things to offer… and life is short…for most… so why not enjoy it and let crap be crap…crap means faeces…so let it be that and lets not bother about things closer to that…. Good question about why I’m commenting…. I’m asking this myself while typing. So the answer has to be…. to suggest that this film or others like that are bollocks and they should be where they deserve to be. In the Gutter. Good Cinema is plenty. and available.


  12. Bajic_111

    this is movie fore retards,im from serbia and ashamed that such a film shot by a Serbian producer,a great shame for Serbia, and actor Srdjan Todorovic was not supposed to take part in this movie, shame shame shame


  13. Bajic_111

    sry for bad english :)



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