Indie foreign film distributor Film Movement, which operates the oft-touted Film of the Month Club, once again shows that it can do no wrong. The latest success relates to both choosing to distribute the 2014 Chile/France drama "To Kill A Man" and in pairing that film with the Unreal TV reviewed drama "Apaches." Movement is making both titles available on DVD on December 2, 2014.
The numerous festival awards for "Man" include the Grand Jury Prize for World-Cinema Dramatic at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the trailer for "Man" awesomely conveys the intensity, frustration, and overall drama that makes this film so special.
"Man" stands out from the universally relatable and expertly crafted films in the Movement library by including an uber-sense of realism that Movement cites as a reason for adding that film to its offerings. The sad truth is that this tale of dystopia and a warped legal system has real-world parallels.
Central character Jorge is a stereotypical quiet and unassuming working-class family guy with a wife and two kids; his troubles begin when local thugs, lead by Kalule, who live in nearby subsidized housing target him for harassment that includes brutal humiliation. Jorge being such a harmless and passive individual likely prompt that mistreatment.
Confrontations between Kalule and Jorge lead to one between the former and Jorge's teen son Jorgito. That one ends with Kalule shooting (and seriously wounding) the boy but receiving an arguably light sentence for that offense.
The efforts of Jorge and his clan to get further justice fail; their success regarding obtaining protection from Kalule on his release from prison is limited to a restraining order that their tormentor openly and sadistically flaunts. Not surprising, the response of the local police falls far below reasonable expectations.
The "Cape Fear" style harassment of Kalule building up to a horrific attack that is tough for all but the most jaded viewers to watch prompts a thoroughly whipped Jorge to finally act in a manner regarding which the title of "Man" is a huge spoiler.
Although the performances and the cinematography are very good in "Man," as mentioned above, the film stands out for its excellent portrayal of a harsh truth in our modern dystopian society. The bullied often continue acting unabated until the victimized turn vigilante. The manner in which this escalation occurs in the film seems very realistic, and the showing of the impact of the response that the harassment causes demonstrates that taking that drastic step is very tough and only substitutes one misery for another.
Any fool who has reasonably spoken out and subsequently become the target of the neighborhood psychotic teen boy, the brute who blasts his music while working on his car or motorcycle, the nasty older person down the street who goes well beyond "you kids get off my lawn," etc understands both the frustration related to being unable to get this harassment to stop and the impulse to utilize a self-help measure.
The fact that vigilante justice will only land you behind bars and make the tormenter the sympathetic figure enhances the aggravation related to this intolerable situation. Either enduring the terror or being driven out of your home being the only viable options only worsen the situation.
The bonus short film "Our Blood," which is a rare United States film from the Movement library, is less dark than "Man." This one has a 19 year-old woman developing an inappropriately close relationship with the older step-brother whom she first meets on going to live with him on his bison farm.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Man" or "Blood" is encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.