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REVIEW – Attenberg (2010)

August 30, 2011

FilmJuice have my review of Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg.

Much like last year’s Dogtooth (whose director both produced and acted in this film), Attenberg is an account of young people struggling to escape the surreal worlds constructed by their parents. The parent in question is an unnamed engineer who produced factories and housing estates so soul-crushingly mundane, it is hardly surprising that he dragged his daughter into a weirdly skewed parallel world.  With the engineer now struggling against a terminal illness, his isolated only daughter is forced to grow up fast:

Much like Dogtooth, Attenberg is ultimately a film about the transfer of power from one generation to the next.  Both films present the post-War Baby Boomers as a generation of addle-brained fantasists and control freaks. Flattered by decades of economic growth into an all-consuming sense of entitlement, the Baby Boomers nurtured a vision of the world that bore very little resemblance to reality.  As the post-War generation grows older and their children reach adulthood and middle-age, the Baby Boomers try their best to protect their vision of the world despite the terrible economic and psychological consequences of their delusions.

I was somewhat conflicted over Dogtooth but Attenberg, it seems to me, hits all of the same notes in far more resonant a fashion.  Singular and utterly entrancing.

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