A Serbian Film is, unsurprisingly, an independent film from Serbia that debuted at this year's SXSW film festival. It has come under a firestorm of controversy as a result of the heinous acts that are graphically depicted on screen. You can read my SXSW review here to get an idea of what the film is about and just how intense I found it to be.
While spoilers are running rampant and are readily available across the internet, I've specifically stayed away from that. Having had it's world premiere at SXSW, it's a film that only 500 or so people have seen. I also think it detracts from the film to know what happens before you sit down to see it. I will say that the controversy is well-earned and has sparked some great discussions about art and censorship.
There were a lot of intense films on this year's SXSW slate, films like Red, White and Blue, Gaspar Noe's Enter the Void, Dogtooth and others, but this film trumped them all. A Serbian Film was often spoken of in whispers and hushed tones, with even casual fest-goers wondering what all the fuss was about. Quite frankly, it was a film that had to be seen, had to be experienced to be believed. I had the opportunity to speak at length with screenwriter Aleksandar Radivojevic and first-time feature director Srdjan Spasojevic about their experiences making the film, the reactions to it and the state of European, specifically eastern European, cinema.