It seems that I’ve got a very un-Quakerly dark side as many of my favorite films contain significant sex and/or violence. The 2008 Austrian film Revanche is a good example, and Revanche is the number one film on my list of favorites in spite of a lot of nudity, sex, and some rough language. So, what’s the plot of Revanche?
Well, it’s a tragic love story between Alex, a former convict who works as a bouncer in a brothel, and Tamara, a Ukrainian prostitute. They plan to escape their joyless existence by robbing a bank and starting a new life, but policeman Robert stumbles upon them during the robbery and accidentally kills Tamara. Grief-stricken, Alex hides out at his grandfather’s farm, where he coincidentally meets Robert’s wife Susanne. Susanne, unaware of her connection to Alex and unhappy in her marriage, propositions him. And Alex methodically plots his revenge against Robert.
Suspense is one reason this film’s so good. Another is the symbolic use of nature: a forest full of bird song and a pond, rippling when something’s thrown into it, ripples erased when the wind blows. And there are the winter apples, opposite in symbolic effect to Garden of Eden apples. But above all, there is a deep exploration of character in the film. As Roger Ebert notes, “How often, after seeing a thriller, do you continue to think about the lives of its characters? If you open up most of them, it’s like looking inside a wristwatch. Opening this one is like heart surgery.”
At its heart, Revanche is about forgiveness and redemption. It is an extraordinary movie. If you don’t see it, you’ll have missed a profound experience of cinematic art.
~ Richard Russell
This blog was set up to post content of interest to Old Chatham Quaker members and attenders. Posts related to one's own personal spiritual journey, reports based on interviews with others, and reflections on Quaker-related topics are welcome. Posts by individuals are personal expressions and do not necessarily reflect those of the Meeting as a whole.
Guidelines for posting on website blog:
Submit to member of Communications committee; committee has editorial oversight over all content posted on the Meeting website.
Be respectful of the nature of vocal ministry given in Meeting for Worship or other settings and any private conversations about spiritual matters.
Cite source of any image or other external content submitted.