12.5.11

Film: Dogtooth



What a weird film.  Directed by Giorgos Lanthimos this 2009, Greek film left both Dr. J and I with an unsettling feeling.  It is the story of three adult children living behind a high walled compound.  During the course of the film the father is the only one who leaves the property.  The ‘children’ are told that evil ‘cats’ live beyond the compound walls and that children are old enough to leave their parents home once they have lost their ‘dogtooth’.  The children are taught the incorrect meanings of words- for example they are told ‘sea’ means ‘chair’; ‘zombie’ means ‘small yellow flower’ and that ‘phone’ is a saltshaker.  There is never any explanation as to why the parents, seemingly well educated, well spoken and well-to-do people; choose to teach their children these fabricated definitions of words.  Ultimately the use of improper words serves as a tool to further remove the children from the ‘real world’ because what they question, seems incompatible with their understanding.    
There is a huge degree of control on the part of the parents.  Nothing is ever given as an explanation as to ‘why’ they have built this sheltered existence for their offspring and ‘why’ they cripple their children by telling them such offbeat lies such as ‘the mother will be giving birth to twins and a dog’.  The myths they are fed conceivably continue to make the children further dependent on their parents. 
The ‘children’ live a seemingly idyllic life which includes swimming, games and watching home videos of themselves.  The NYT review stated that the: three [children] wander about in their underwear, speak in monotones and seem perpetually on the verge of either incest or fratricide or both.   



Have you seen this film? 
If yes, why do you think the parents created this world and what do you think it is a commentary on? 

12 comments:

sherri said...

I started this one but couldn't finish it. Too odd even for me.

Sol said...

wow... your blog post was enough to unsettle me.....

but I've thought often about the power that we hold as parents, the kids see the world through our lies, albeit unconscious and not malicious. I suppose this film could be a metaphor for such a power...

Grace said...

Creepy...

la petite coquine said...

I'm with Sol-just reading this post made me uncomfortable. It sounds like a fascinating film, but I think leaving so many questions unanswered would frustrate me to no end!

heather said...

oh i haven't seen this. looks bizarre and would probably unsettle me a little too much for right now.

Diana said...

That sounds absolutely crazy. But something I'd want to watch.

Sara said...

I'm intrigued. It sounds weird...and Netflix has it on instant play. Yay! Ill have to read the NYT review too.

Blace said...

I watched this not that long ago and did some sort of vague mini-review. It was a beyond strange movie that I enjoyed but for some reason didn't want to.

a new girl in vienna said...

i haven't seen it. it sounds bizarre... but intriguing!

Krystal said...

that sounds very weird, i'm kind of curious to see it now!

tulpen said...

So weird. I hardly ever watch movies (but I did take my son to see Thor yesterday, yay man candy!), and now I'll know to avoid this one.

Audrey Beardsley said...

Can't we see? "Dogtooth" is presenting us with the true-blue American Family Values idea taken to it's ruthlessly logical conclusion. It's ther Cult of the Family Cocoon. What these "children" lack is just as vital as what they have.

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