Filth and Wisdom (2008)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  17 September 2008 (France)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 2,135 users   Metascore: 26/100
Reviews: 16 user | 60 critic | 21 from

A comedy centered on three flatmates living desperate lives in London.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Professor Flynn
Inder Manocha ...
Business Man
Francesca Kingdon ...
Clare Wilkie ...
Harry Beechman
Hannah Walters ...
Business Man's Wife
Sardeep's Wife
Lorcan O'Niell
Nunzio Palmara ...
George Keeler ...
Frail Man


In London, A.K. is a Ukrainian Gypsy, seeking fame as a rocker, doing odd jobs: he's a dom, drives a hack, and runs errands for his neighbor, a poet full of self pity since going blind. A.K's flatmates are Holly, a ballerina who becomes a reluctant stripper in need of coaching, and Juliette, a pill-popping assistant at a pharmacy run by an Indian tired of his marriage. Juliette, estranged from her family, dreams of helping the poor children of Africa; A.K. has a crush on Holly; Juliette's boss lusts after her. Her hapless sister calls from time to time. The poet despairs. Is there a route from filth to wisdom for these souls? Can they find fun and fulfillment? A.K. provides philosophical comment. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

17 September 2008 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ithiki kai hydaiotita  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


£3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,597 (USA) (17 October 2008)


$22,406 (USA) (21 November 2008)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (PAL Version)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Directorial debut of pop star Madonna. See more »


In the scene where Juliette is talking to A.K and is angry at him she is wearing suspenders. However, when the camera pans to the back of her head her suspenders are not visible. See more »


A.K.: Humanity seems to be divided into two categories. People trying to be good and people trying to be bad, but personally I don't see so much difference.If you spend your whole life as a saint, eventually you will crave the opposite and the filth will appear as an oasis in the desert but if you spend your life in the gutter, sooner or later you will be searching for wisdom. Like a pig sniffing for truffles.
See more »


References Mary Poppins (1964) See more »


Chaso / Kukushka
Written by Alexander Kolpakov
Performed by Kolpakov Trio
Courtesy of the Rroma Foundation
See more »

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User Reviews

Very Disappointing
17 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

OK, so let me just say that I came into this as a huge fan of Eugene Hutz and Gogol Bordello and while I don't enjoy her music, I like Madonna's persona and was very excited to see the film.

On the upside, this movie did have some interesting ideas on, well... filth and wisdom, sex work and art. Unfortunately, the story-telling vehicle meant to get us to these ideas was so appalling that Mr. Hutz had to narrate them to us fairly explicitly. For ideas to work in a film WITHOUT an engrossing storyline, those ideas better be pretty profound (which these aren't) otherwise it just looks like the amateurish work of an angsty teen (which this did).

To make it all the more disappointing, the character set ups were GOOD. I wanted to like and know about each of the three protagonists and their relationships to each other. Unfortunately, everything goes downhill after we meet them. Their back stories are only hinted at, their motives and personalities one-dimensional and their stated relationships lacked the slightest chemistry. The secondary characters were worse.

So, what happened and who do we hold accountable for ruining this film? Someone was handed a great cast to play exciting characters, a nice little premise and some passable thematic ideas and yet it bombed. The real achievement of this film is that it managed to be as unwatchable as it was. The only real reason to sit through this pile is for the the sheer erotic thrill of seeing Eugene Hutz as a male dominatrix, and if that doesn't get you rocks off, then I'd just skip it all together.

18 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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