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Dead Europe

Dead Europe (Tony Krawitz, 2012) wr. Louise Fox, Christos Tsiolkas (novel), prod. Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Liz Watts; Ewen Leslie, Marton Csokas, Kodi Smit-McPhee; drama

Dark, and emotionally claustrophobic, Dead Europe is tough to sit through. Talky and severe, it is a puzzle film, a movie where one is asked to work hard at deciphering its strangeness. It’s a film that describes a very real horror, and you feel that dread, but in the end, I was at a loss to understand it. Peter Galvin, SBS.

Dense and intense, Dead Europe is cinematically alive, with director Tony Krawitz sure of his footing as he takes us in close to his characters, prying, probing, pricking ... and involving us at a deep emotional level. This helps to smooth over the film's rougher story patches, where elements that may have been irresistible from the novel don't always fit snugly into the narrative.
Leslie is terrific in the role of the understated, unattached gay innocent/ignorant, as is Kodi Smit-McPhee as Josef, the mysterious young lost boy who symbolises the core of the dramatic engine. Marton Csokas gives an astonishing performance as Isaac's long estranged brother living on the edge in Budapest, through whom we meet Syd, played with haunting power by Igal Naor, a major figure but an unexpected character in an underground child sex and porn racket. Here, the story staples together the family secret with the symbolic exploitation of young boys. Andrew L. Urban, urbancinefile.

Garry Gillard | New: 28 January, 2013 | Now: 2 April, 2020