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The War Zone (1999)

R | | Drama | 11 June 1999 (Italy)
An alienated teenager, saddened that he has moved away from London, must find a way to deal with a dark family secret.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Dad
...
Jessie
Freddie Cunliffe ...
Tom
...
Mum
...
Nick (as Colin J. Farrell)
Aisling O'Sullivan ...
Carol
...
Lucy
Megan Thorp ...
Baby Alice
...
Barman
...
Nurse
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Storyline

Tom (Freddie Cunliffe), an alienated 15 year old boy, finds the that opportunity for close observation of his father, after their move from London to rural Devon and the birth of a new baby, reveals a world run through with darkness and pain. Tom is unable to reconcile the life he's known what he sees with his own eyes, and blames his 18 year old sister, Jessie (Lara Belmont). Both Tom and Jessie struggle to find some path to truth and sanity as the human forces around them work in polarity with their isolation to either assist them, or destroy them. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When the worst of men hides in a family with no history.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, some involving molestation, and for nudity, language and a scene of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

11 June 1999 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Tim Roth's The War Zone  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$18,335 (USA) (10 December 1999)

Gross:

$237,029 (USA) (31 March 2000)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alexander Stuart: "Once my son was diagnosed with cancer, I had this huge amount of pain and anger about how this could happen to the child I loved so much. And I definitely directed that into The War Zone. I wrote it differently than anything I've written. I would rush back to the house while he was in chemotherapy and just write for two hours. I almost felt as if I were channeling it." See more »

Quotes

Tom:
  • I saw you.



Jessie:
  • Saw me what?



Tom:
  • In the bath...



Jessie:
  • Yeah?



Tom:
  • What were you doing?



Jessie:
  • What do you think? I got in and he got out.



Tom:
  • That's not what i saw.



Jessie:
  • Well, that's all it was.



Tom:
  • Where were you?



Jessie:
  • It's a pretty weird thing you're suggesting, if you're saying what i think you're saying. I haven't told you to f@ck off or anything, which i probably should've. Nothing happened, OK? I'd tell you.



[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #2.1 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is hard medicine -- definitely NFE (not for everyone)
2 January 2000 | by (sf, usa) – See all my reviews

The 1998 Danish Dogma film "The Celebration" (Festen) is another hard medicine movie, intense drama about family strives and incest. The Danish film shows the intensity through dialogs and character reactions. Tim Roth's film cuts to the chase and shows the vivid horror of the actual act. Tim does not skirt around the subject. He takes the subject right on and tackles it directly and really shakes up the viewers. It's raw emotions -- nothing sentimental. The actors are in their natural appearances with not much make-up: Tilda Swinton you see her with the pregnant creased skin-folds of a tummy inelegance; the two teenagers (Lara Belmont as Jessie, Freddie Cunliffe as Tom) in their casual demeanor/slouching poses; Ray Winstone as the seemingly unsuspicious father who looks like any man of the house, full of himself and chatting incessantly (in a way, an indication of certain insecurity and self-doubt?).

We don't get to see the predator's face much. Director Tim Roth wants the focus on the heinous act vs. personal faces, which could be anybody who has had such traumatic experience at home. Home is where the trust and warmth of a family together should be. Through Tim's delivery, we see the coldness and frustration the two teenagers face, esp. Tom the son, who discovered the wrongful act accidentally and felt confused and unable to talk to anyone about it -- his sister, the victim, just as confused and unable to talk about it. The different levels of fear that each member of the family has… A poignant film, with explicit scenes sensitively choreographed, demands viewers attention to the tough subject at hand. We can't turn away -- the inevitable merciless truth presented in our face on the screen. It's a bold attempt. This film calls for attention to the subject of incest and its traumatic consequences beyond imagination. Roth succeeded.


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