Maybe I should count my lucky stars that I didn't faint, puke, or injure myself in any way while watching A Serbian Film at this year's SXSW. I'm certainly not desensitized to the depth of human atrocity on display in the polarizing thriller, but, for some, it's obviously too much to bear.

Reports are coming out of Cannes that a potential distributor tried to excuse themselves during the film, passed out while leaving, and took a face-dive into the exit door, breaking his nose. If A Serbian Film's chances of distribution were questionable before, they may have just gotten worse. Rumors swirled at SXSW that a Alamo Drafthouse waitress was brought to tears by the more disturbing aspects of the film (or that she threw up -- or both, depending on the story). I'd heard that Tim League, Drafthouse owner, let his staff opt out of serving patrons during A Serbian Film screenings, due to the troubling subject matter.

Is it that disturbing? Yes. It's a brutal film (but a skillfully made one) that shreds the envelope between art and obscenity. The best thing about the film is that the definition of the line between those two elements is an intrinsic part of the plot. I wouldn't call A Serbian Film a must-see, but if you think you're able to see it without causing yourself bodily harm, you might be rewarded with an unforgettable (albeit repulsive) cinematic experience.
categories Movies, Cinematical