Misogyny reigns supreme over the impoverished inhabitants of a remote sugar cane village, with misanthropy running a close second, in slickly told but otherwise repugnant Brazilian film "Bog of Beasts."

Misogyny reigns supreme over the impoverished inhabitants of a remote sugar cane village, with misanthropy running a close second, in slickly told but otherwise repugnant Brazilian film “Bog of Beasts.” A follow-up to his 2002 feature bow “Mango Yellow,” Claudio Assis’ latest effort is another unblinking gaze into depravity. Pic was honoured with several gongs including best feature at last year’s Brasilia Film Festival but is likely to be too savage for general auds. Further fest play is likely after garnering a quarter share of Rotterdam’s 2007 Tiger prize.

Pic opens with elderly Heitor (Fernando Teixeira) displaying the naked pubescent body of his daughter Auxilidora (Mariah Teixeira) for financial gain and the onanistic pleasure of peasants residing in a Brazilian sugar plantation. Demonstrating the girl’s bleak future, the narrative reveals the degradation that machismo-crazed youths dish out to the village’s hardened whores. Most frightening is feral gang leader Everado (Matheus Nachtergaele) whose idea of a good time is raping and beating a prostitute. Driven by a nihilistic and offensive script, pic is nevertheless well-helmed. Perfs are chillingly authentic and lensing by Walter Cavalho (“Central Station”) is a rich treat.

Bog of Beasts

Brazil

Production

A Paraboloica Brasil, REC Produtores Associados production. (International sales: Imovision, Sao Paulo.) Produced by Julia Moraes, Claudio Assis. Executive producer, Joao Vieira Jr. Directed, written by Claudio Assis.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Walter Cavalho; editor, Karen Harley; music, Pupillo; art director, Renata Pinheiro. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (competing), Jan. 30, 2007. Original Brazilian title: Baixio das bestas. Portuguese dialogue. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Mariah Teixeira, Fernando Teixeira, Caio Blat, Matheus Nachtergaele, Dira Paes, Marcelia Cartaxo, Hermila Guedes.
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