LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
Director: Harmonie Korine
Starring: Linda Manz, Max Perlich, Jacob Reynolds, Chloë Sevigny
Genre: Dystopian, Experimental Drama
Gummo, being Korine’s directorial debut generated a lot of press for its explicit content and stylized, liquid narrative. The film is set in Xenia, Ohio, a poor town that had been hit by a overwhelming tornado. Even though Gummo appears on numerous degrading lists (like “10 most disturbing films you’ll ever see” or “5 films you shouldn’t bother to watch”), the film has achieved cult status and addresses and highlights many issues concerning poverty and white trash.
The film’s narrative is loosely woven and follows lonely residents of a tornado-stricken town, who are trying to fulfil their nihilistic, boring lives. Korine made no effort in hiding any truths; filling the screen with explicit and upsetting (to certain audiences) content.
The film explores issues like drug abuse, vandalism, poverty, animal cruelty (luckily only towards cats), racism and a lot more, leaving the viewer with a lot to ponder about as the film progresses. Even in this nihilistic environment, most of these characters are content with their living standards and Solomon (portrayed by Jacob Reynolds) stated that life is beautiful and without it, we’d be dead.
Korine has stirred the norms of filmmaking and created something that is truly his own. The film is inarguably original and didn’t reference any other films; this film has set its own standards. I would recommend this film to anyone who’s open minded and doesn’t mind witnessing the execution of cats.