Sight & Sound Of Progressive Cinema
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Reviews September 30, 2010
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Catalog Number MV004

(She Shaman), 1996
Andrzej Zulawski's adaptation of Manuela Gretkowska's provocative and hugely successful novel reaches new extremes in the depiction of brutality, sex, and passion as it tells the story of a young(ish) anthropologist driven by the mystery surrounding the death of a recently discovered shaman; and his growing obsession with an enigmatic yet violently perverse beauty known as "The Italian".
Szamanka is a film 'without brakes'. Above all else, it is a 'demonic' film where characters are battlegrounds in the war between devils and angels, where angels are agents of God and devils are those of the Devil. This pulpy, sexually charged tale with its deranged erotic futurism underlines Zulawski's commitment to stretch the limits of aesthetic expression by exploring themes beyond the pale in conventional cinema. Violence, exuberance and sexuality are its key ingredients. Through hysteria, possession and hallucination we see what the Polish writer Stanislaw Przybyszewski called 'naked soul'.
Official Selection, 1996 Venice Film Festival


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