Sunday, 22 April 2018

Hagazussa (2 Stars)

This is the seventh film in the Stuttgart Nights Festival.

A woman called Martha lives in the Austrian mountains with her daughter Albrun. The villagers harass her and throw stones at her because she's a witch. Throughout the film I saw no evidence of witchcraft, so why did they call her a witch? She was an independent woman living without a man, and she didn't go to church. That's all the proof that the villagers needed. Witch!

Martha dies, and 15 years later Albrun is living in the same mountain hut with her baby daughter, also called Martha. Like her mother, she's an outcast. She supports herself from selling goat's milk in the village, but nobody likes her. This changes when a young woman called Swinda befriends her. They spend time together, and eventually Swinda invites Albrun to meet her husband.

It was all a ruse. Swinda's husband rapes Albrun while Swinda watches. When Albrun returns to her hut her goats are all gone, either slaughtered or stolen. Albrun decides to take revenge on Swinda and the rest of the village.

The scenery is beautiful, but that's the only good thing I can say about the film. The story is depressing, and there are some very ugly scenes. Some things don't make sense. Why does the village's Catholic Church have a wall built out of skeletons? Something that weird deserves an explanation, but none is given.

I wasn't alone in my opinion. It was the first film in which I saw people walking out. When I spoke with my friends outside none of them had anything good to say about it.

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