If you read the press about this film you will hear words like “shocking imagery”, “controversial subject matter”, and an assortment of other buzz phrases that try to pigeon hole this amazing work of art.
Timothy Roth, in his directorial debut, tackles the story of a family in such morbid distress I can’t even begin to touch on the complexity of their tale.
An excerpt from the web site:
Novelist Alexander Stuart wrote his novel The War Zone inspired by his experiences of becoming a father for the first time. “I was thinking about parenthood and looking at friends’ families and became aware of the quite complex relationships between children and adults,” he says. “It threw up a whole range of issues about the bond between fathers and daughters which I knew would be worth exploring.”
When you think of family (in an ideal world) and intimacy you think of affection, respect, comfort and safety. Our delusions of what family should be have been shattered in the past few decades by cultural exploration of how our actions affect the people closest to us. We examine and analyze the most private details of our lives and psyche to discover that we have obligations to each other to remain inside the social boundaries of behavior. We understand, from living our lives and being exposed to outside influences that we are not allowed to cross those lines, no matter what our beliefs or ideals may be.
But suppose you are isolated, untouched by the day to day babble of public psycho-analysis? Imagine a place and family where the most basic instincts are stunted, suppressed only because of a distant understanding of right and wrong, shame and offense. Scars of childhood run deep for abusers. How far do they reach out to touch and harm the next generation?
The War Zone is a window through to the very heart of why secrets and denial of responsibility of our actions can destroy us.
A teenage brother confronted with a reality that he is not capable of coping with. A mother floating along with no sense of alert or awareness. A father, loving and gentle on the fragile surface. A daughter enslaved by confusion, anger, fear and the added reality of simply growing up.
The pace of The War Zone gives us time to think and to realize the implications of what we are seeing, rather than rush us from one visual attack after another. We are drawn to the scenery, the artistry of the cinematography and the stunning portrayal of humans in such a stark but familiar setting.
I recommend this film highly for film lovers. Not MOVIE lovers, those of you who need a rush or some simple story to keep you happy.. but lovers of the art of movie making. The style, the design, and the subject matter are one, the story is not just a story about a family and their secrets, it’s a painting of conflict, abandoned innocence and truth that lives and breaths on the screen.
Tim Roth has won me over in the past as a stellar actor, now he has won me over as an amazing director as well. I’m looking forward to more of his work.. very soon!
I recommend: Rent it as soon as you can!