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The film tells the story of six mental cases, trying to get rid of society's norms and values by kidnapping Gerard van Dongen, a well-known TV host. During an improvised TV show, the terrorists confront this Van Dongen with their darkest thoughts and emotions, resulting in violent excesses and extreme sexual behavior.
Last week I went to the 'Bloed In De Polder' Film Festival in Rotterdam, where I saw a film called "Terrorama!". Director Edwin Brienen is a controversial radio personality for Dutch broadcasting station VPRO. The film was also surrounded by scandals, heavily exposed in Dutch tabloids. Rumours about pornographic scenes, drug abuse... so I expected a lot. But even I wasn't prepared for this!
"Terrorama!" is a film about a group of frustrated, angry people. They blame society for their traumatic experiences. So they kidnap TV host Gerard van Dongen, and confront him with torture and rape. The film starts as a theatre play, with long shots and monologues about failed love, misery and the justice of violence. When I was just about to fall asleep, the film changed its pace and even becomes funny at times. There is a hilarious dialogue about Kojak, and some freaky characters are introduced, adding a bit of trash 'chic'.
Things turn more grim, when the actual kidnapping starts. Suddenly the connection between the characters becomes clear. They're not just fooling around, they are terrorists for real. The second part of the film is far more serious and even disgusting. My stomach turned watching the sick rape of 'the blonde girl', and reaching the end of the film I was so depressed, I was quite relieved it was over.
So what the f*** did I actually see? By far the strangest Dutch film ever made. Obviously low-budget, sometimes bad acting performances. You can clearly see not everybody is a professional actor. Brienen chose to cast some real-life freaks, for example: a 250 pound dominatrix, a transvestite and some trashy prostitutes. Funny are the cameos by Dutch celebrities like Theo van Gogh (reading the Koran).
"Terrorama!" is a weird mix of radical political statements (especially a ridiculously long conversation between two women on a couch, talking about society in a lesbian atmosphere - Oh Fassbinder Where Art Thou?), extreme violence, trash and even art. Halfway the film a masturbating Jesus Christ figure shows up, flirting with a Nazi officer. I'm not sure about the meaning of this all, but quite extraordinary cinematography and editing though.
This is definitely NOT a mainstream film. I'm curious about the motives of the director why to make such a radical film. It's a complete 'mindfuck', and I wonder if Brienen wanted to make a Dutch "Salo". I'm not against immorality in films, but because of the lack of emotion in the characters, it's impossible to identify with them. Not my thing, this sick but fascinating production. Definitely the weirdest, most disturbing film I've seen in years. Curious about Brienen's next one. Rating: 5/10
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