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Film Review: Miss Violence

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Greek filmmaker Alexandros Avranas's Miss Violence is an unpleasant film and not one I’d recommend for a fun night, but cinema is an art form that can do more than simply entertain – it can educate and warn people as to the dangers in the world. And what pitch black, terrifying dangers this film plunders.


It’s quite breathtaking in its depiction of what humans can do to those they are supposed to care about. If you are a fan of the works of Michael Haneke, and maybe Yorgos Lanthimos, you’ll have some idea of what to expect here. It’s certainly an exercise in unease.


The opening scene is very well done. A young girl leaves her birthday party via a balcony. She jumps to her death in the middle of the celebrations. As the film continues we discover why she chooses to leave her life. I’m not going to describe the plot in too much detail; part of the film’s power is how its darkness slowly unfolds and explains itself.  


There is a pivotal scene of sexual violence just over halfway through that is really hard to watch and will definitely upset many viewers. Some may even argue it is reprehensible. I must confess I’m in two minds about it, but its tone is clearly aversive and its presence narratively justified.


It would be very easy to detest this picture outright. The plotting is sometimes frustrating. The first half holds its cards close to its chest and the ambiguity becomes infuriating. Still, there is a lot to admire here and it handles an extremely difficult subject matter with bravery and power.


Miss Violence (2013), directed by Alexandros Avranas, is released in the UK by Metrodome Distribution, Certificate 18. Watch the trailer below.






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