I had forgotten this movie somewhere and I couldn't remember why it was on my 'to-see' list. I started watching with little interest because it was in danish with english subtitles and I was afraid I would not be able to understand at all.
But the movie killed me. It is a terrible movie though its poetry, though its dreams and flights. It is very disturbing.
With an alternated structure between animation and real scenes, the story starts from the death of a young porn star who leaves a five year old child, which the uncle decides to take care of. So, exhibited and commodified sex would not be a problem if it wasn't part of child's everyday life, in a way that the uncle tries to uproot and fight. But, as it turns out, not in the normal and peaceful ways you would expect. By which we understand the choice of animation, to describe things that would not be possible to show using a child actress. And by which we understand the inverted choice, with the reality of the animation and cutscenes for fantasy, dreams, imagination. But above all, we understand the inclusion of some crucial points not properly descriptive, but powerful, as some stylistic choices and visual suggestions that literally tell more than the story itself. You might say, speaking in music, that there are instrumental parts stuck sometimes in the middle of verses sung. Which is something I do love, because I really like those who are able to tell you something without the need of a description.
Degraded, in this film, is not only the body, also: all the things seem to be degraded, the people around, places, situations, because the initial trauma, the death of the mother, seems to have pervaded everything, or permanently permeated every other sphere of life of the child and his uncle. Everything becomes abnormal, even the initial shareable goals of the man. The movie gets increasingly grotesque in a nonlinear way, preventing a complete identification, with an uncosolatory final that threatens to lose sight of the purpose of complaint.
The punch in the stomach remains nevertheless. And this makes it necessary for me, like all imperfect and wrong but powerful movies.