Michael (2011)

michaelYou spend the length of the film uncomfortable. Rightly so considering the subject material — “A drama focused on five months in the life of pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement.” — and that’s what works for this film. Schleinzer isn’t interested in dramatics, or extremes, rather the pace of the film is slow, subjective, and highly ambiguous. The film is kept distant and matter of fact, relying on realism instead of attempting (and, like the majority of films, failing) to be disturbing and provocative. The originality of this film is in it’s lack of explicitness or exploitation, the tone throughout unsettling and gripping. Nothing graphic is shown on screen, however it is hinted, and the film’s pace is alien to that of Hollywood. Michael burrows under your skin and remains memorable,  unnervingly calm, and oddly humorous. B+

Written and Directed by Markus Schleinzer, starring  Michael FuithDavid Rauchenberger and Christine Kain.

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