To call 2010’s A SERBIAN FILM (SRPSKI FILM) controversial would be an understatement. Right now it’s barely a year old yet is already banned in several countries and the focus of a high profile lawsuit in its native land. Edited versions were released in the US, the UK and Australia, and it’s doubtful the film will ever play in its intended form in any of those countries.
Porn star Milos has retired from the business to spend time with his wife and young son. One day he gets a proposition to star in a new avant-garde production for an outrageous sum of money. Milos is told nothing about the film in advance; as outlined by Vukmir, the film’s pretentious director, Milos will have to wear an earpiece through which he’ll receive instructions on what to do. Milos is understandably apprehensive about the offer, but goes through with it anyway.
The first day’s filming sees Milos led to a hospital for abandoned children where he witnesses a violent confrontation between a teenage girl and her mother; later he gets sucked off by a sexy nurse while watching videos of girls eating ice cream bars. The following day’s filming is more sadistic, with Milos getting his cock bitten during fellatio by a whore who Vukmir encourages Milos to beat up, all in plain view of a teen girl seated nearby.
Milos decides he’s had enough, and informs Vukmir he’s quitting the production. In an inexplicable effort to convince Milos to stay, Vukmir screens an excerpt from a new kind of film he’s working on: newborn porn! From there things really get weird…
Milos awakens in his home, covered in blood. Attempting to piece together what brought him to this state, he heads back to Vukmir’s mansion assailed by dark visions involving rape and unbelievable brutality. Milos discovers a pile of videos, which show that he was injected with some kind of fuck drug by Vukmir that turned Milos into a depraved psychopath who performed several unspeakable acts of sexual sadism…acts that come to involve his own wife and son.
For a low budget Serbian film to create as much trouble as this one has, its makers must be doing something right. Director Srdjan Spasojevic claims the film is a political allegory about life in Serbia; the film’s most notorious scene, depicting a newborn infant pulled from its mother’s womb and fucked (all fake of course, and one of the few instances in which Spasojevic shows restraint), is apparently meant to symbolize what Serbians experience at the hands of their leaders.
The film has the look of a trashy straight-to-video gorefest, which actually intensifies its impact. In many respects a trashy straight-to-video gorefest is exactly what it is, yet with a genuinely envelope-pushing–nay, shredding–succession of atrocities that place it in a category of its own.
Srdjan Spasojevic’s considerable talent is evident in the nerve-jangling mood of horrific anticipation suffusing the early scenes, and the intensity is maintained as the proceedings grow increasingly gruesome. Whether Spasojevic is justified in going as far as he does remains an open question. I’ll say this for the film: it is very likely the last word in so-called torture porn, as after A SERBIAN FILM there really aren’t many taboos left to shatter.
A SERBIAN FILM (SRPSKI FILM)
Director: Srdjan Spasojevic
Producer: Srdjan Spasojevic
Screenplay: Aleksandar Radivojevil, Srdjan Spasojevic
Cinematography: Nemanja Jovanov
Editing: Darko Simic
Cast: Srdjan Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic, Katarina Zutic, Slobodan Bestic, Ana Sakic, Lena Bogdanovic, Luka Mijatovic, Andela Nenadovic