Three key moments, all of them sensual, define Ana's life. Her carnal search sways between reality and colored fantasies becoming more and more oppressive. A black laced hand prevents her ... See full summary »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cassandra Forêt ...
Ana enfant
Ana adolescente (as Charlotte Eugène Guibbaud)
Ana adulte
La mère
Harry Cleven ...
Le taximan
Jean-Michel Vovk ...
Le père
Bernard Marbaix ...
La grand-père mort
Thomas Bonzani ...
Nono, l'adolescent
François Cognard ...
La silhouette
Delphine Brual ...
Jean Secq ...
Béatrice Butler ...
Charles Forzani ...
L'agriculteur / L'homme à la voiture rouge
Benjamin Guyot ...
Yves Fostier ...


Three key moments, all of them sensual, define Ana's life. Her carnal search sways between reality and colored fantasies becoming more and more oppressive. A black laced hand prevents her from screaming. The wind lifts her dress and caresses her thighs. A razor blade brushes her skin, where will this chaotic and carnivorous journey leave her? Written by Coach14

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror | Thriller


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Release Date:

3 March 2010 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Amer  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Belgian directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani required more funding to make the film than they could raise within their native country. French producer François Cognard agreed to co-produce even though they only had a third of their projected budget raised. However, he was happy to give the duo the go-ahead based on their experience of making short films for very little money. See more »


References Suspiria (1977) See more »


La polizia ha le mani legate
Written by Stelvio Cipriani
Published by Cinevox Records/Grandi Firme della Canzone
See more »

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User Reviews

The schism between sexual awakening and its denial
8 March 2011 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

When I included Amer in a short list of films I was eagerly anticipating in 2010, I wrote that I was looking forward to "ostentatious cameras that go on a discovery of psychosexual nightmares, a stylish violence, jazzy grooves". I'm a big fan of Italian genre cinema, especially gialli, for me they fulfill the needs comic-books do in others. When I say I'm a fan, I mean that when Stelvio Cipriani's song La Polizia Ha Le Mani Legate (originally part of Cipriani's score for Roma Violenta) finished playing in Amer's end credits, I rummaged through my cd collection to find it.

But, even as I was writing that a few months ago, Amer already had a reputation as more than a giallo film, "arthouse" people insisted, which intrigued me more. So, does Amer reward the giallo fan with the wink of film reference, or is the giallo only the trope of an expression intended for a different audience?

To go back to my appreciation for the giallo as comic book, it's the mentality of the colorful panel that appeals to me, the vivid bits of casual violence to strike a chord and be forgotten after the next page, the indulgence on something that reaches only as deep as the excitement it provides. To put so much effort or go through all the trouble for the pleasure of something momentary, this exaggeration is essentially the province of youth, where the fling of a few days burns with the passion of true love. In this sense, the giallo rejuvenates me.

That in mind, Amer is at once an apotheosis and a keelhaul of the panel, an overkill of shots capturing small details, of closeups of eyes or reflections or bits of the human anatomy. It's a world come alive through the senses, by a child overhearing conversations from behind closed doors, or a young girl feeling the first tingling of a booming sexuality in her skin. There's very little dialogue and this appeals to me, because the convoluted plots were always my least favorite aspect of the giallo.

But if Amer is not pushed forward by people talking, does it establish other means of communicating this story of sexual awakening and repression, the schism that follows from a child discovering a cruel world or a teenager being denied that discovery on her own?

I'll say yes, but with reservations. Still, what's important for me, is the tweaking of the filmed image to see is there another way to make cinema, the nature of an experiment whose results can only be appreciated in the future. Better said, if we peel a cabbage we get the core, but if we peel an onion? Some will say we get nothing, but we've done the peeling and we've transformed the onion, so can we really say that? The cinema of Amer is that peeling.

Two things particularly stand out for me here in this cinematic depiction of trauma.

One is the root of it, seen through the kaleidoscope of a child's awestruck imagination. A child's feverish nightmare shot in the otherworldly cyans and magentas of Mario Bava, where disfigured old men and strange hooded figures reach out to the camera. This is probably the most horrific part of the movie.

The other is the cause and effect of the teenage girl's sexual awakening. The directors explore this with a marvellous sense of exaggeration, of a complete fetishization of sexuality and the human body. When the young girl comes across a group of bikers, we get blurry closeups of chrome, of throats undulating or the trickle of perspiration, of buckles and boots. The girl approaches them almost solemnly, clinging to her short summer dress, with an air of fearful apprehension and the irrepressible instinct of a moth drawn to a flame. Before her discovery can be consumated, her overbearing mother shows up to slap her for the offense and take her away. Simple, crude some may say, but brilliant in getting a point across.

It's in the film's conclusion that we find the giallo lurking in the shadows of a ruined mansion, where the black-gloved hand of the killer slashes the dark. The directors give us the killing hand but with a twist, another contraption of the giallo.

What about the intended audience though? I feel that Amer will appeal more to fans of the sexual psychodrama of Repulsion, than the fan who will seek out a film like Amuck for the profound pleasure of watching giallo queens Barbara Bouchet and Rosalba Neri make out on the same bed. The lurid tradition of Sergio Martino is only honored in the selection of epochal musis by the likes of Bruno Nicolai, Morricone or Cipriani.

18 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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