Hannah's theme this week is World Cinema. As usual, because we have ridiculously similar tastes, Hannah has already written about the first film that sprang to my mind REC. I watched it with my eldest son and we terrified ourselves! Great film.
So I've had to wrack my brains to come up with another film that fits this category. My choice for this week is the Japanese film Battle Royale (2000).
Under new Japanese law a group of delinquent school kids are forced to fight each other to the death till there is only one left standing, on a deserted island. This is for a reality TV show (like Big Brother with weapons and explosive collars!) Whilst some of the students unleash their inner killer, others try to find a peaceful way of escaping the island.
This film questions our attitudes to violence and towards each other. As some characters kill each other ruthlessly in a bid for self-preservation, others form alliances to protect each other. The two main characters in the film eventually fake their own deaths aided by the supposed last man standing and escape the island to go on the run together.
The film is ruthless, brutal, violent and bloody, but it is not just a gratuitous gore fest. Strip away the horror and it is also about love, friendship and loyalty. It is a warning to the next generation, a powerful message questioning our attitudes to violence, crime and society. It explores intergenerational distrust and the use of actual teenagers in the starring roles was a powerful decision made by the director Fukasaku giving the film stark realism and impact. He drew on his own experiences as a 15 year old in WWII in his adaptation of this movie, giving a gritty realism to an unimaginably terrible premise.