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Movie Breakdown: Wetlands (Noah)

September 19, 2014


People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

This is a film about a 20-something German girl who’s obsessed, in the most vile of ways, with her own bodily, well, stuff. From everything I can garner this is like the shit and piss and sadness version of Amelie. So, obviously, I’m totally in.

The Reality:

German’s do the strange, disgusting, quirky, yet somehow emotionally wrenching film about as well as anyone. David Wnendt’s Wetlands is a prime example of this. The story follows Helen (a wonderfully attractive and repulsive Carla Juri), a rebellious 20-year old with an affinity for the natural, yet starkly disgusting effluvia of her body. From the moment we meet Helen, she’s got a finger in her ass, or in her crotch, or on the disgusting cum-stained rim of a public toilet. Through a series of fluid-related flashbacks (shot with verve and originality by Wnendt and his crew) we see Helen grow up, live through a divorce, and become the absurd, mouthy, attitude-filled spitfire she is today. When she cuts her anus shaving (yes this is the catalyst for almost the entire story) she ends up in the hospital and we quickly learn that Helen’s quirky obsession with her internal bits is deeply rooted in something much deeper. Sure, this is a film that features a scene where five men jerk off onto a pizza. And yes, the main character does fondle a piece of her excavated butthole at one point. And yes, there is a scene where two women smear menstrual blood on each other’s faces. This is a gross movie, but the aggressive grossness of it isn’t purely for shock, and it is never entirely without reason. Helen’s proclivity towards trouble, be it external or internal, is a product of a sadness. She’s a lonely girl who’s built a wall of attitude and nastiness around her to shield herself from the void of emptiness she deals with on a daily basis. All of the blood-licking and general vagina and ass disgustingness Helen floats through in her life, are merely tools she’s created to impress an untrue image of herself upon the rest of the world. This isn’t really a story about shit and cum and smegma (though they all do make bold and pretty shocking cameos), it’s about a fucked-up girl who just doesn’t want to be lonely. If you’re squeamish, I’d sidestep this shit-bullet, but in doing so you’re missing out on a truly original and enjoyable piece of filmmaking.

The Lesson:

Germans love making movies about things that come out of your body holes.

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