Entangled tangles with some serious subject matter.
DIRECTED BY LIDIA DUDA (Poland, Made in Poland)
Friday, April 26, 1:30 p.m.
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West)
Saturday, April 27, 6:30 p.m.
Scotiabank (259 Richmond Street)
Friday, May 3, 9:00 p.m.
Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue)
There are nearly no faces in Entangled. Shot largely from behind or from other positions that obscure the visages of its subjects, the film is an odd mixture of anonymity and intimate confessions. Centering on a pedophile and the boy he molested, the dynamics of victimhood become complicated when the abused child grows up and takes revenge. Now serving time in a juvenile detention centre, he tells his story, which director Lidia Duda interweaves with that of his abuser, now free.
Raising complex issues of revenge and recovery—the latter of which neither of the subjects seem to be able to achieve—the film is unflinching. Duda plunges into morally ambiguous territory, interviewing the molester, his victim, and both of their mothers. Largely using voiceover as the subjects go about their daily lives, Duda creates moments of disturbing juxtaposition. In one case she films the pedophile at a pool where young boys splash around him, while in voiceover he confesses that he is “drawn” to children. The images are at times hauntingly beautiful, but the decision to leave out the speakers’ faces becomes limiting. There is a final reveal of one face, but the film’s stagnation up to that point detracts from what is otherwise a powerful moment.