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Assessment: Too Shut – Cineuropa

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– Botond Püsök combines observational documentary with thriller to let his protagonists inform the story of sexual abuse inside the family

The subject of the sexual abuse of kids inside the confines of the household or a family is all the time a delicate one, and there’s most likely no proper approach to take care of it utilizing the type of documentary cinema. The victims are normally unwilling to open up and discuss it, as they danger additional victimisation and judgement from their very own milieu. This makes Botond Püsök’s Too Shut [+see also:
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an especially dangerous, courageous, delicate and in the end potent portrait of the aforementioned state of affairs. Recent off its premiere within the documentary competitors of the Sarajevo Movie Competition, it ought to safe additional bookings at documentary movie festivals.

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The protagonist is Andrea, a theatre actress who lives in a Hungarian-speaking village someplace in Transylvania, Romania. Her daughter Pirkó was systematically sexually abused by Andrea’s then companion Pika, and the entire story emerged whereas Andrea was pregnant with Pika’s son Bogyó. Confronted by Pirkó and Andrea, Pika confessed every little thing and was sentenced to a number of years in jail. Nonetheless, his early launch for “good behaviour” threatens to disrupt the delicate stability that Andrea and Pirkó have managed to attain via remedy.

The rationale for the panic inside the residence isn’t just Pika, but in addition the whole village, the locals’ behaviour in direction of the damaged household, and their typically constructive angle in direction of and help for Pika. Of their minds, the entire story is a lie, and of their conversations, Andrea is known as “The Actress”, which means that she lies for a residing, whereas Pika is a “salt of the earth” kind, the son of the native Reformed Church priest, and the genius engineer who introduced pavements and gasoline to the village. How might such a “good man” be a paedophile behind closed doorways?

Realizing that she can not rely on the assistance of the area people, during which she has been assigned the standing of a stranger who might by no means be accepted, and that any assist from the official system could be flawed, inadequate and tardy, Andrea’s solely hope is to promote her home and transfer some other place with the youngsters – someplace the place all three of them might have a recent begin. Within the meantime, the environment within the village will change into so poisonous that the household will really feel imprisoned in their very own home and the yard round it.

The observational model with zero commentary by the filmmaker isn’t just a becoming and tasteful selection, however can be a testomony to Andrea’s and her youngsters’s braveness in letting Püsök and his skeleton crew (the filmmaker additionally did the taking pictures himself) deep into their lives. On digital camera, all three of them seem fully honest and pure, like individuals who don’t have anything to cover, no matter Andrea’s occupation, which the villagers prefer to disparage. Not like the household, the locals are represented solely within the type of a “gossiping refrain”, spreading their opinions and insults by way of voice-over narrations which might be minimally processed by Támas Bonács’ sound design. This sound design and the music composed by Andor Sperling and, to a lesser extent, David Stephen Grant are used to infuse the documentary with a level of pressure that verges on the extent of a thriller, and that is additionally because of the tight enhancing by Brigitta Bacskai, who additionally served because the movie’s co-scriptwriter.

Ultimately, Too Shut is equally efficient as an affidavit of the human nastiness that prospers in small, enclosed communities, as a courageous documentary that takes no prisoners and as a tense, pounding thriller. Its versatility makes it fairly distinctive.

Too Shut is a Romanian-Hungarian co-production by Luna Movie, Spot Productions and RTL Hungary. Rise and Shine handles the world gross sales.

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