YOUR FLESH, YOUR CURSE * Denmark 2017 Dir: Kasper Juhl. 100 mins
“Where ignorance is removed, so-called evil ceases to exist…” Pseudo-philosophical quotations and pointless chapter titles (e.g. “The Existence of a Flower”) punctuate this arduous – though great-looking – exercise in nihilism.
Marie-Louise Damgaard Nielsen copes well in a thankless central role as Juliet, a young woman who has suffered a lifetime of physical and emotional abuse and, after she is murdered, ends up in a limbo-state complete with masked spiritual guide forcing her to face her long-repressed memories. Cue: copious flashbacks to rape, humiliation, self-harm, drug addiction and an array of male abusers including her own father.
Light on dialogue – though with an appropriate regular reminder that “Everything is fucked” – Kasper Juhl’s slice of ordeal horror has impressive cinematography by Juhl himself and a haunting music score but, at heart, it’s another torture movie. And, worse than being a repetitive, numbing, degrading, wannabe-arthouse torture movie, it’s a torture movie that positions Juliet (as suggested by the title and confirmed by the final reveal) as symbolic of all women – her womanly “flesh” itself a “curse” that invites a life of misery. Even not accounting for this hugely dubious theme, YOUR FLESH, YOUR CURSE has no more things of significance to say than, say, GUINEA PIG or HOSTEL PART III. Save yourself some time and effort by instead masturbating into a razor-lined sock while watching some old Josef Fritzl home movies.
Review by Steven West
YOUR FLESH, YOUR CURSE is available to buy at TetroVideo in a 2 disc deluxe collector’s edition set here: