Every once in a while, a film emerges from the film industry that unleashes the unanimous love of the public and critics… Or the opposite happens and films emerge that ignite the anger of the most conservative viewers .
The latter was the case of A Serbian Film, a stomach-churning title that ran into the censorship barrier, being banned from many film festivals and its distribution canceled due to the high content of violent scenes.
What is A Serbian Film about?
A Serbian Film was the first work by Srdjan Spasojevic, who premiered it in 2010. In it, he introduces us to Milos, a porn actor who lives drowning in debt. When a certain Vukmir appears in his life to offer him a blank check in exchange for him to star in his new “experimental porn” movie , Milos accepts without knowing that he has agreed to participate in a snuff recording. Hours later, he will wake up dazed at home, stained with blood and next to a VHS tape…
Let us remember that all audiovisual content that shows scenes of extreme violence, including rape, torture, necrophilia and murder, among other things. It is precisely here that the controversy arises with A Serbian Film, which caused a huge stir due to the brutality of two sequences in particular.
The 2 most controversial scenes of A Serbian Film
Although the film could be classified as what is called “gore cinema”, where there is no lack of liters of blood or the cruelty in its crudest facet towards the human body (something not at all alarming seeing the extensive catalog of this genre, only suitable for the toughest stomachs); There were two scenes that put A Serbian Film at the center of the hurricane:
Incest father – son
One of the most unbearable moments in Spasojevic’s film occurs when we see how a family man sodomizes his son,forcing him to a fellatio and then subduing him .
Those who have seen it coincide in pointing out that not even those most accustomed to sadistic films are capable of staring at the screen. Although it is true that more is suggested than it is taught, that does not make the bad drink any less unpleasant.
But what really raised a wave of criticism against A Serbian Film was this sequence, where depravity and morbidity go hand in hand. It was translated as “newborn porn” something that leaves no room for imagination: it can be seen as a mother giving birth to a baby who, as soon as he comes out of the womb, is raped by the star who stars in the film.
With all this, it seems that it was more the bad reputation that preceded the vomit scene, than the harshness of what we really see, which apparently is little. Those who have gathered the courage to see Spasojevic’s work maintain that in the minutes in which the rape of the newborn takes place, the viewer sees everything through the television screen in front of which the protagonist is.
However, this subtlety when it comes to not focusing on the moment in the first person is counteracted by mixing sound effects with shots of the horrified face of the protagonist , who looks helplessly at what he did. Obviously, all these resources contribute to the ultimate goal, which is to make the viewing experience of the tape unbearable.
Despite all these clarifications, there were those who saw in A Serbian Film covert propaganda that encouraged pedophile acts and should not be advertised.
The director talks about A Serbian Film
Spasojevic offered several interviews to clarify that his intention with the film was not to raise blisters gratuitously. The director defended himself against criticism alleging that A Serbian Film is a kind of metaphor full of symbolism about the horrors experienced in the Balkan war , a conflict that devastated his country for 10 years.
In addition, he argued that with the film he hoped to cause a general impact on viewers, cruelly portraying the worst facet of the human being, turned into a product of a society that has internalized violence as something intrinsic to our nature and with which we must live.
Spasojevic declared that, indirectly, A Serbian Film is also a criticism of the hidden face of the pornographic industry , a full look at what often happens behind the scenes to denounce the “anything goes” and justify everything in favor of the show; although this is to the detriment of the actors.
In favor of A Serbian Film and creative freedom
Despite the voices of individuals and associations calling for the burning of the film we are talking about, other professional colleagues came out to defend creative freedom and asked
not to restrict the work of those who make films. Among their arguments, they point out that the aforementioned sequences in no case incited to commit pedophile acts ; Which doesn’t mean they like the movie either.
Following this line of reasoning, some like Jaume Balaguero (the ideologue of the Rec franchise), affirmed at the time that this type of film is aimed at a very specific audience target., so it will attract fans looking for very exclusive content, not suitable for everyone. Following this line, those who do not find any attraction in proposals such as A Serbian Film and know what it offers, will refuse to view it and will look for something that is to their liking.
Anything goes in the cinema
It is curious that Spasojevic’s film has happened like other films that were persecuted in their day. Like those, part of the footage of this controversial title had to be cut in order to pass the censorship filter and reach some countries (although it is still banned in many). In the same way, as happened in the past, the same arguments have been used again to criticize its prohibition.
It is true that A Serbian Film is a forceful kick in the stomach and that it is not suitable even for those who think they have seen everything in gore. But, how many movies were also banned for decades?
Let’s think, for example, A Clockwork Orange, Lolita, Last Tango in Paris, Caligula… It will not be the last time that controversy arises and violence will not disappear just because we insist on looking at one side ; the question is whether the answer is to stop making these movies or not.
We have had to live in a time where the dictatorship of political correctness is spreading its shadowand curtailing the freedom of creation of artists of all kinds. Let A Serbian Film be an unjustified, reprehensible film that revels in morbidity for morbidity; Waking up the dormant ghost of censorship does not have to be the first choice when something is uncomfortable or annoying for the majority.
Because, by its nature, art (expressed in each of its languages), has to be able to be above all that.
- It may interest you: NXIVM: the dark sexual sect of Keith Raniere.