An irritating, revolting, yet oddly memorable roll in the grunge, "Forgive Me" is documaker/stage helmer Cyrus Frisch's attempt to open audiences' eyes to the exploitative nature of media by radically grossing them out. Unfortunately, there are no more limits to what we are willing to see onscreen, from decomposing corpses on down. Taking a group of mentally and physically handicapped Amsterdam street people, Frisch provokes and humiliates them while he waits for someone to shout stop.

An irritating, revolting, yet oddly memorable roll in the grunge, “Forgive Me” is documaker/stage helmer Cyrus Frisch’s attempt to open audiences’ eyes to the exploitative nature of media by radically grossing them out. Unfortunately, there are no more limits to what we are willing to see onscreen, from decomposing corpses on down. Taking a group of mentally and physically handicapped Amsterdam street people, Frisch provokes and humiliates them while he waits for someone to shout stop. To his despair, auds and critics adored the play (“Jesus/Lover,” partly filmed here) in which these unfortunates played themselves. He should be content at the numerous walkouts at Rotterdam premiere. The future probably holds mostly experimental film meets for this oddball entry.

Nico, an aging drunk, lives with psychotic alcoholic Chiquita. Her gentle, handicapped ex, Peter, is interviewed, along other dim folk who expose themselves, vomit, urinate, masturbate and howl on camera. Frisch appears cavorting with them onscreen. Pic puts viewers in the hot seat, where they squirm in discomfort while visual interest is provided by often wobbly hand-held camerawork. Some wonderful scenes from Murnau’s silent classic “Faust” are intercut.

Forgive Me

Netherlands

Production

A Phanta Vision Film Intl./Stichting Filmkracht production. Produced by Petro Goedings, Cyrus Frisch. Directed, written by Frisch.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W), Hidde Boorsma, Rene Dingelstad; editors, Sander Vos, Floor Smal, Job ter Burg. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (Main Program), Jan. 25, 2001. Original title: Vergeef Me. Running time: 80 MIN.

With

Nico, Chiquita, Peter, Achmed, Verhoef, Astrid, Ellen ten Damme, Sylvie Kristel, Marien Jongewaard.
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