Saturday, October 29, 2011

Think of The Children

Parenting has got to be the most common and disagreed upon practice in the world. Even within the same culture you'll find wildly divided opinions on the matter - when and how to toilet train, what language is appropriate and at what age, the dreaded sex talk. And while it seems to be unconsciously understood parents are making it up as they go along, we still treat their choices with a kind of sanctity. It's their kids, they would clearly know best.

Now bleed for Daddy...
Well Dogtooth is having none of that! If you are a repressive, controlling parent then you are going to have some utterly fucked up kids - not in spite of but because of how you raise them.

The Father (there are no names here) has sequestered his family in a gated compound to keep his son and two daughters safe from the corrupting influences of the outside world. Corrupting influences like hookers - one of which he brings home because his son is becoming a man. The girls? Well, they have to stay virgins. It's a Greek cultural thing...

Anyway, Brother getting his bone on serves as the catalyst for the children - really full grown adults now - to start questioning their world, pressing the boundaries...

You know what? The plot's not that important. If you've been a teenager yourself, you know this tune. What matters here are the many little slices of this weird life. Father has dictated not just the usual what you can and can't do stuff but also what is - like a zombie is a yellow flower. Or that a cat, the most dangerous monster beyond the fence, sparagmos-ed their imaginary older brother. Really.
Responsible parenting!
And the tension. Leave people in a confined space for long enough and they'll be at eachother's throats. It takes a surreal turn in Dogtooth as the children so absolutely believe the pure bullshit their Father has been telling them - "A cat hit him with a hammer! Honest!" It gets to the point where the scene of the children's talent show takes on this... just wrong feeling. Brother sits in on guitar - rather well, surprisingly - while his Sisters dance like first graders. And dressed as first graders. Despite clearly being grown women.

...Yeah, I got nothing.
Dogtooth says something obvious that no one can ever really take to heart - kids grow up. It can't be avoided. They're going to leave home, drink, screw, all those things you did when you were their age. If you try to stop it, you'll just warp them and make them even worse and when you catch them trading sexual favors for pornography from a security guard, it'll be all your fault. No matter how much you beat them about the head with the porn.

1 comment:

  1. This is a metaphor for the Greek government as well. For the Greeks who don't go abroad, and who stayed within the paternalistic society governed by a corrupt government that had no intention of letting foreign influences affect the conventions of the Greek economy and politics...we see the consequences today.