Apr 23, 2015

Silence = Death

I probably should not admit this, but I have a certain amount of respect for kraut queer auteur Rosa von Praunheim (Army of Lovers or Revolt of the Perverts, Neurosia: 50 Years of Perversity) in terms of his undyingly subversive approach to both his life and filmmaking, even if I find him to be a remarkably repellant individual who probably would have deserved what was coming to him had he been an artist and activist during the Third Reich era (ironically, as revealed in his own documentary Two Mothers (2007), von Praunheim might be the bastard son of the infamous SS-Standartenführer Rudolf Lange who, among other things, apparently liquidated 250,000 people in a little less than six months). Like with any auteur filmmaker that interests me, I have gone to the effort of attempting to track down any and every von Praunheim flick that I can find, but only a tiny fraction of his 80+ film oeuvre (which includes shorts and documentaries) is actually available, especially in terms of his works that actually feature English subtitles. Not unlike his kraut cocksucker arch-nemesis Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who he made the remarkable documentary Fassbinder's Women (2000) aka Fassbinder Was the Only One for Me: The Willing Victims of Rainer Werner F about, von Praunheim is a rather prolific filmmaker who seems to make films faster than people can see them, but unlike the tragic Querelle (1982) director, he actually got the opportunity to work in the United States at various different times in his career. Of course, while Fassbinder would have probably opted to work in Hollywood (where von Praunheim would eventually direct the short Can I Be Your Bratwurst, Please? (1999) starring all-American bisexual porn star Jeff Stryker) in tribute to his love-hate relationship with Golden Age works from Tinseltown, von Praunheim has spent most of his time focusing on New York City for largely socio-political reasons that have little to do with actual filmmaking, as it is a cultural epicenter of AIDS activism and gay life. Indeed, as Fassbinder once criticized about him in an article in tribute to their mutual dandy-like friend Werner Schroeter, “Rosa von Praunheim, a man who is so progressive, whose consciousness is so liberated from all our bourgeois longings that he actually believes he alone has the right, almost a monopoly, to use the film medium to reflect his or anybody else’s homosexuality,” and that is certainly quite apparent in the director’s aborted documentary ‘AIDS trilogy’ that he made in collaboration with Phil Zwickler between 1989 and 1990 in New York City during the height of the gay cancer epidemic.

It should be noted that von Praunheim's AIDS trilogy is actually part of a tetralogy that also includes the low-camp Schlingensief-esque HIV satire A Virus Knows No Morals (1986) aka Ein Virus kennt keine, but von Praunheim never finished or released the final film Fire Under Your Ass (1990) aka Die Aids-Trilogie: Feuer unterm Arsch - Vom Leben und Sterben schwuler Männer in Berlin, which takes a look at how the epidemic effected the filmmaker’s hometown of Berlin. While I saw the first film in the trilogy, Positive (1990) aka Die Aids-Trilogie: Positiv - Die Antwort schwuler Männer in New York auf AIDS, a couple years ago, it was not until recently that I saw the first doc, Silence = Death (1990) aka Die Aids-Trilogie: Schweigen = Tod - Künstler in New York kämpfen gegen AIDS, which is indubitably the most superlatively subversive, defiantly grotesque, and aberrantly artistic of the films as an overtly wayward and compulsively confrontational work that takes a look at various HIV-positive NYC-based artists and their works as they lament on living with an innately incapacitating disease that has turned them into the most odious and grotesque of social outcasts, or so they describe while criticizing their various enemies of the heterosexual Christian right (or what Iranian-born American experimental playwright, sometimes filmmaker, and AIDS victim Reza Abdoh once affectionately described as the ‘Tight White Right’). Indeed, Silence = Death is an unrepentant and sometimes unhinged homo-hate agitprop piece where prominent sexually introverted artists like eventual AIDS victim David Wojnarowicz and Beat writer turned NAMBLA member Allen Ginsberg demonstrate their undying contempt for the U.S. government, which the former unequivocally blames for the AIDS epidemic, as if Ronnie Reagen put a gun to his head and made him give head to a stranger in some seedy public bathroom. Needless to say, von Praunheim’s decidedly debasing doc is nothing like your contemporary piece of sanitized sod celluloid, which typically depicts gays as happy-go-lucky upstanding citizens who just want to be accepted and just happen to like cocks instead of cunts yet somehow magically manage to contract AIDS and various other STDs more often.  In other words, the fierce fags of Silence = Death do not care if your grandma likes them and openly admit they would love nothing more than to destroy powerful homo-hating churches and politicians, especially Wojnarowicz, who seems to hate just about everyone aside from fellow queers with AIDS.  Indeed, you know the subjects of a documentary are somewhat crazed when proud pedo poet Allen Ginsberg seems like the most rational and sane one.

Without even a credit sequence or title scene, Silence = Death abruptly begins with a stereotypically loudmouthed and flamboyant Guido-like poet named Emilio Cubeiro sitting in his ugly and rather dilapidated apartment and going on a heated rant about how he was diagnosed with AIDS six weeks ago and how he has a “gut feeling” that “someone caused this,” even speculating that he is a victim of some sort of CIA germ warfare program against poofs. After complaining about how he hates feeling like a victim and how he recently saw a group of well dressed young Republicans chanting at a group of gay protestors, “You people got AIDS because you fucking deserved it,” Cubeiro randomly whips out a small revolver and declares, “I’ve always been a person that lived by the sword in the sense that you’re gonna die […] the same way you lived. I’ve always been an asshole in one sense, so there’s no better way to go out, I don’t think. Let me see what you think of this […] now, I really want you to take a look at my asshole.” From there things get ugly and Cubeiro drops his pants, bends over in front of the camera, puts the revolver in his rectum, and then pulls the trigger, thus resulting in a large amount of oily liquid shit to gush out of his AIDS-ridden anus in a patently preposterous Marian Dora-esque ‘performance art’ routine that would surely alienate any sane heterosexual viewer from supporting the gay cause. After Cubeiro’s mock suicide by bullet through the bunghole, shots of his rather ‘ghetto’ apartment are juxtaposed with a recording of his unintentionally hilarious Lydia Lunch produced album Death of an Asshole (1989), which features the rather ludicrous line: “…to fuck death is to master death…you give it orders, you tell it when to cum. You see, death is your slave even when it is your master.” Indeed, von Praunheim’s Silence = Death seems to fetishize AIDS in a decidedly deranged way that makes it seem like dying from gay cancer is the ultimate ‘orgasm,’ as well as a post-Stonewall ‘rite of passage’ that only the most hardcore of homos experience.

Undoubtedly, the real ‘star’ of von Praunheim’s doc is perennially amateurish painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz, who succumbed to gay cancer two years after the film was released and who would probably not be remembered today and celebrated by all the right people were it not for his brazenly bombastic aberrosexual activism and the specific nature of his untimely death. As Wojnarowicz explains, he used to hide in the cocksucker closet, which enabled him to, “enjoy something about this self-silence, self anonymity where I could travel across America, hitchhike in a car where I’m picked up by a cop who, if he knew what I thought for two seconds, would shoot me on the road,” but because of the AIDS epidemic and the death of his lover, Warhol groupie and photographer Peter Hujar, he has become aggressively vocal about his homosexuality and blatantly blames Christian churches, politicians, and the government for the outbreak, as if it is a ‘fascistic’ disease that punishes gays for their sexual proclivities (when, in reality, the epidemic is a direct result of the anti-mores promoted by the so-called sexual liberation movement and Marcusian ‘new left’). As his autobiographical books and ‘biopic’ Postcards from America (1994) directed by Steve McLean reveal, Wojnarowicz, not unlike many gay men that don’t seem overtly effeminate, was routinely sexually abused as a child and even became a dick-peddler during his teenage years. In terms of the fact that he knows that he is going to very likely succumb to his illness soon, Wojnarowicz reveals that he does not believe in any sort of afterlife and somewhat cynically states, “…when you die, you become fly food and somehow that is comforting,” as if he longs to rot and decay.  As he aggressively declares during one of his various rather hostile histrionic rants, Wojnarowicz does not want a memorial when he dies, but instead he wants his friends to drop his emaciated corpse onto the front steps of the White House in a gesture that would reflect his belief that, “these are the people that are responsible for my death.” Indeed, Wojnarowicz does not believe that his lethally lecherous behavior is at all responsible for the fact that he is going to die as indicated by his rather ridiculous remark, “It’s not my sucking dick that is responsible for my death, or my getting fucked in the ass, or any of these things. These people, at this point, are responsible for my death because their inactivity and their total gesture of silence after eight years of this.”  Personally, if I peddled my prick to strangers or regularly reamed anonymous rectums in piss-and-shit-drenched public restrooms, I would most certainly consider it my own fault if I contracted AIDS and died, but I guess I am an unenlightened heterosexual homophobe who does not understand the wayward wonders of a self-destructive sexual pathology.

Somewhat humorously, Hebraic homo poet Allen Ginsberg credits the fact that he is fucked by supposedly ‘heterosexual’ men instead of fellow slutty ‘queens’ like himself that he does not have AIDS. Notably, Ginsberg reveals that he is regularly tested for AIDS because he does not want it on his conscious if one of his self-described “much younger” lovers contracts the disease from him. Unlike Wojnarowicz, who was as debauched as they come as an ex-hustler and tearoom queen, Ginsberg at least expresses a degree of self-responsibility as opposed to simply blaming everything on the Christian Right and government. Of course, to be fair, Ginsberg confesses that he oftentimes has a ‘hard time’ getting an erection because, being an overweight Israelite who has probably never exercised in his entire life, he has to take blood pressure pills, so his sex life was probably not as prolific as a younger man like Wojnarowicz. According to Ginsberg, humanity itself is like HIV, as he states, “the planet itself has AIDS” due to all the pollution. Personally, I find Ginsberg’s poetry to be the literary equivalent of AIDS (after all, Ginsberg's bud William S. Burroughs did not speak of ‘word viruses’ for nothing), but I digress.  In von Praunheim's Silence = Death, Ginsberg becomes a rare voice of reason who, as far as the viewer can judge from what he says, is doing his part to prevent the spread of the most deadly phenomenon in the gay community since the Night of the Long Knives.  To Wojnarowicz's marginal credit, one gets the impression that after his boy toy Hujar succumbed to HIV in 1987, he became all the more nihilistic and self-destructive, as if he was trying in vain to spite the entire world by screaming that he is a terminally ill faggot and he is proud of it.  Of course, I'm sure Fräulein von Praunheim could appreciate such pure and unadulterated megalomania, hence why Wojnarowicz probably ultimately became the main subject of the doc.

Unquestionably, Silence = Death reaches its zenith in terms of unadulterated aesthetic grotesquery towards the end when Wojnarowicz’s degenerate amateurish short A Fire in My Belly—a work featuring ants crawling across crucifixes and other similarly juvenile and silly things that attempt to offend but only bore or annoy—is juxtaposed with the song “This is the Law of the Plaque” by Greek-American avant-garde singer/composer Diamanda Galás, whose own playwright brother Philip-Dimitri Galás perished as a result of AIDS.  A good portion of the doc it dedicated to showing off paintings and drawings by AIDS-ridden artists like Rafael Gamba, Keith Haring, and Peter Kunz, with the latter of whom being depicted in an exceedingly emaciated state on what seems to be his deathbed. Although all these artists have very different styles, what all their paintings seem to have in common aside from being hopelessly ‘modern’ yet primitive in persuasion is a sort of less than subtle synthesis of sex and death, thus making it seem like their actual deaths from the most deleterious of STDs would be their true magnum opuses. Not unlike his subsequent AIDS trilogy documentary Positive, Silence = Death is notable for a von Praunheim doc in that the filmmaker did not find a way to incorporate himself in it in a rather obnoxious and narcissistic way like he typically does, yet it still somehow manages to be just as innately subversive and radically repellant as his other works, as if the queen of kraut queer cinema went out of his way to work with the most vulgar HIV-positive artists that he could find. It might interest cinephiles to know that ‘lo-fi’ experimental film maverick Mike Kuchar (Sins of the Fleshapoids, The Craven Sluck) acted as the film’s cinematographer, which might explain the exceedingly and almost proudly amateurish essence of the film as if the work was shot in the seediest basement in Sodom with Andy Warhol's camera and leftover film reels and with forsaken soul of ‘flaming’ filmmaker turned intentional AIDS casualty Jack Smith (Flaming Creatures, Normal Love) acting as a sort of spiritual adviser.

 Ultimately, Silence = Death is an (anti)nostalgic gay celluloid archive created at a time when sod artists were still actually subversive and not interested in becoming like their banal bourgeois heterosexual enemies by demanding that they be allowed to get married and adopt starving negroes from some AIDS ravaged nation in Africa, among other things. Indeed, in my opinion, AIDS was not just one of the worst things to happen to gays because it killed them like flies, but also because it inspired the cocksucker community to align themselves with their perennial enemies, lesbos, and become politically active in the most pathetic and obnoxious victim-mentality-based way imaginable, thereupon seemingly killing their true contribution to society as pioneering artists and cultural subversives as opposed to being infantile narcissists who somehow think parading around in public in pink thongs and little girls fairy wings is somehow a demonstration of some sort of pride. Indeed, if great fag filmmakers like Fassbinder and Pasolini were alive today, I am sure they would cringe upon hearing the vomit-worthy acronym ‘LGBT.’ While the title of Silence = Death is in reference to the belief that if homos kept silent about their homosexuality and the AIDS epidemic then many more homos would die as a result of lack of public awareness and, in turn, government inaction in regard to the gay plague, queers cannot shut their mouths nowadays even though they have nothing of value to say and they never will as the new gay mainstream is a plastic pre-packaged pseudo-identity that has never sired a single Jean Cocteau, W.S. Burroughs, Kenneth Anger or even von Praunheim, not to mention the fact that it's automaton-like members are more banal than the most soulless of David Matthews Band loving frat-boys, albeit they dress ten times worse. If you want to sample the old school homo world before it became vogue to smoke poles and flaunt social justice warrior credentials, checkout von Praunheim's doc and bask in the lost glory of true gay grit of the deadly, demented, and diseased sort.

-Ty E

Apr 22, 2015

Morning Patrol

Nearly a decade ago, I saw a totally unclassifiable Greek cult film entitled Singapore Sling (1990) of the completely and utterly depraved yet darkly humorous and equally erotic sort that pays bizarre homage to Otto Preminger’s classic film noir Laura (1944) and that one might describe as the most idiosyncratic ‘arthouse horror’ flick ever made. Admittedly, I was somewhat caught off guard by the film because it was released on DVD by Synapse Films, which typically releases less than artistically merited cult horror flicks, and I certainly was not expecting such a stylishly sleazy cinematic work that managed to be so decidedly demented yet inordinately aesthetically dignified. For whatever reason, I did not think to look into some of Singapore Sling director Nikos Nikolaidis’ other films until rather recently after researching films on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and discovering that his debut feature, Euridice BA 2O37 (1975) aka Evridiki BA 2O37, was a disturbing black-and-white mutation of the classic Ancient Greek tragic love story. While barely known outside of Greece aside from his magnum opus Singapore Sling, Nikolaidis—a modern Renaissance man of sorts who also worked as a record producer, theater director, and prolific TV commercial director, among other things—might be, at least in my less than humble opinion, the world’s greatest director of dystopian arthouse works. A man with a patently pessimistic view of the world and where it was heading, Nikolaidis described his swansong The Zero Years (2005)—a film set in a dystopian S&M brothel where four prostitutes that were forcibly sterilized allow themselves to be devilishly defiled while running low on food and other supplies—as not depicting some less than ideal foreseeable future, but as depicting the pernicious present. Set in a necrotizing post-apocalyptic Europa where amnesia and mysterious fevers are rampant, death squads roam the streets and countryside, absurd booby-traps await you around every corner, and where any person that you come into contact with will more than likely attempt to kill you, Proini peripolos (1987) aka Morning Patrol is arguably Nikolaidis’ greatest contribution to the dystopian subgenre as a work that is so malignantly melancholic in its essence that it makes Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) seem like a relatively conventional Hollywood fantasy film and Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985) seem like a bombastic live-action cartoon directed by an autistic fanboy. Set in a neo-noir nightmare realm where the main city is completely unpopulated yet classic Golden Age Hollywood film noir flicks from the 1940s and 1950s are perennially playing on TV screens and in movie theaters, Nikolaidis’ virtual anti-sci-fi flick features nil special effects and a sort of post-European Europe where the only memories of past times come in the form of old school works from the Hebraic dream-makers of Tinseltown. Somewhat paradoxically, Morning Patrol is arguably Nikolaidis’ most hopeful and romantic work, as a sort of apocalyptic romance where two strangers that initially attempt to hate one another yet ultimately unite and bond on mutual faded memories and try to find hope in a world that is beyond hopeless. Featuring a deceptively intricate and philosophical script, the film is notable for featuring excerpts from the writings of novelists like Raymond Chandler, Philip K. Dick, Daphne Du Maurier, and Herman Raucher for the scenes where the two lead characters narrate their thoughts on living in a dying world plagued by death, pain, murder and not much more. 

 Morning Patrol begins with the nameless female protagonist (Michele Valley of Singapore Sling and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kynodontas (2009) aka Dogtooth) roaming the countryside and attempting to remember her former life in a place in the East called ‘Mandele’ that no longer exists. The female protagonist is afraid that if she refrains from talking that she might die and that if she attempts to sleep she will be caught by a death squad called the ‘Morning Patrol.’ Undoubtedly, the protagonist has a rather pessimistic worldview as indicated by her remark, “The most stupid question once can ask on this earth is, ‘Where the hell did everybody else go?,’” but she has perfectly good reason to think the way she does as virtually all of her fellow surviving humans want to kill her just so that they can steal her mostly worthless belongings. Indeed, the only people left in the world are coldblooded killers and the protagonist is reluctantly one of them, as she lives in a ‘dog eat dog’ world where passivity means a very certain grisly death. As the protagonist says regarding other people, “Sometimes I see them in the distance... sliding down the hills, heading West...They kill each other over a drop of water... or they get killed by Patrols.” Although she has no evidence that there is something waiting for her on the other side, the protagonist is also heading west to a dubious placed called ‘The Sea,’ but first she must pass through a nearby city that is even more deadly than the countryside.  Since she, like all the survivors of whatever apocalyptic event led to the dystopian world that now exists, suffers from amnesia and can’t quite remember anything clearly about her former life, the protagonist speculates that she used to have a boyfriend and lived with her parents. After finding a crouching corpse that she initially mistakes for a living man, the woman is able to bandage her wounded arm while she tries in vain to remember how she injured it. 

 As demonstrated by the fact that she brutally slaughters a man with a knife after mistaking him for a corpse and stealing his watch, the female protagonist is a fierce murderess who is well prepared to fight to the death, especially when it comes to malicious men. After all, as the woman pessimistically narrates, “What does it matter where you are, if you’re dead. In the murky waters, or high up in a marble tower, what does it matter. You’re dead, and you don’t care about anything anymore,” thus reflecting the fact that she has a little bit of life left in her and she is determined to get to a nearby city where she will have food, water, and shelter. Of course, the city is occupied by members of the Morning Patrol and when the protagonist arrives there, she does not waste any time in murdering one of the guards and stealing his gasmask. Upon entering an abandoned luxury apartment, the woman finds food still on the dinner people as if the family that originally lived there had just vanished into thin air while eating. While at the apartment, the woman watches vintage junky classic The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) directed by Otto Preminger and starring Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak, but her viewing is interrupting when she notices a remote control toy car in the building and abruptly leaves. 

 When the woman enters another apartment, she finds various James Dean and Natalie Wood posters hanging on the wall and begins watching The Big Combo (1955) directed by Joseph H. Lewis and starring Cornel Wilde and Richard Conte, but she does not stay there for long. After leaving the second apartment, the woman heads to a completely empty movie theater that is curiously screening Charles Vidor’s Gilda (1946) starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford, even though there is clearly no one there running the film projector. While attempting to enjoy the movie, a unisex gang of four men and women that are dressed somewhat like post-apocalyptic punk hobos begin approaching her in a rather bizarre manner that makes it seem as if they are performing ballet with the theater seats. Ultimately, all four of the gang members surprise attack the female protagonist at once and a female member knocks her out by putting her head between her thighs in a somewhat fetishistic fashion. When the protagonist wakes up, she finds herself tangled in reels of film and soon notices that all four of her attackers have been mysteriously murdered and thus she is able to get back all the gear and supplies that they stole from her. As the protagonist will soon discover, she has a guardian angel of sorts that has been watching over her ever since she arrived at the city. 

 After leaving the movie theater, the protagonist finds a loaded shotgun in a large junk pile and heads to another abandoned apartment to watch some more old school Hollywood film noir. While staring at the television like an automaton, a man sneaks up on her and points the shotgun she just found at her face. Upon revealing his face to her and moving the shotgun away from her head, the man (Takis Spiridakis of Nikolaidis’ Glykia symmoria (1983) aka Sweet Bunch) reveals to the woman that he is a guard in the Morning Patrol and that he has been watching over her ever since she arrived in the city. The guard also warns the woman that is his job to kill if she is still alive and in the city after three days, but he also demonstrates his genuine concern for her by warning her to stay away from, “Cinemas, food stores, phone booths…They’re all traps. Nighttime is the best time for running.” While the woman more or less admits to killing one of his Morning Patrol comrades and stealing his gas mask, the man decides not to turn her in and instead begins to leave, but on the way out he collapses. Indeed, the guard suffers from a mysterious and seemingly incurable illness that causes fevers and his bones to ache. When the man wakes up, he finds himself lying in bed with the woman who is once again watching an old film noir. Ultimately, the woman blackmails the man into helping her to make it out of the city so that she can make it to the seemingly mythical place in the west called ‘The Sea’ by stealing the pills that he uses to treat the mysterious illness that he suffers from.  While the man probably could easily beat up the woman and take his pills back, he seems to genuinely want to help her and has obviously become disillusioned with working for the Morning Patrol, so he goes along with her plan to travel to the Sea, even though he knows that no one who has ever traveled there has ever comeback to confirm that it actually exists, thereupon more or less guaranteeing a very certain death for both of them.

 It is quite apparent that, despite their initially resentful attitudes towards one another, the woman and man have a strong attraction and connection towards one another that only becomes all the more apparent the longer they are around one another. Indeed, the two might have even known one another in a previous life, as the woman asks the man at on point, “Are you sure we have never met before?” and then says, “You had a house on the hill. I used to watch you from afar,” but the guard cannot remember anything. Needless to say, it does not take long for the man’s comrades at the Morning Patrol to realize he has gone AWOL and they immediately begin attempting to hunt him and the woman down. Meanwhile, a second guard (Panos Thanassoulis of Singapore Sling and Dimitris Athanitis’ Kamia sympatheia gia ton Diavolo (1997) aka No Sympathy for the Devil) on a motorcycle keeps a lookout for the two protagonists and even talks to the man via telephone and warns him to not go west because the death squad has already setup a roadblock there. At one point, a group of Morning Patrol members attempt to murder the man and woman at what looks like a post-industrial junkyard, but the two protagonists kill them and then steal their bus and begin heading towards the outskirts of the city. Naturally, the man begins succumbing to his illness over time and the woman begins acting vaguely more intimate with him. When the two enter a swamp one night, the man collapses and narrates, “I could already hear the patrol approaching us. Don’t think that I quit. I know this is my last chance. And if they’re going to get me back, they won’t get me alive. There are so many stories about us. They say that after the river, down at the valley of death, when the moon is gone, seven angels pray for those who leave the city…And when the battle is over, and the smoke dissolves, we get to the sea…alive or dead, it doesn’t matter. Don’t think I quit.” The woman picks up the man and attempts to carry him through swamp but he ultimately dies in her arms. After the man dies, the woman passionately embraces him and kisses him on the lips for the first time. The last thing the man says before dying is, “Do you have a name?,” which is a question that the woman refused to answer when the two first met.

 Notably, director Nikos Nikolaidis would later state regarding his masterpiece Morning Patrol, “This is a movie that still scares me and I avoid watching it... I believe that it is a film ahead of its time just like "Euridice BA 2037" was.” Indeed, while it is not nearly as graphic or grotesque as Singapore Sling, The Zero Years, or many of Nikolaidis’ other works (in fact, the only nudity it features is a rather brief nipple slip from Michele Valley), the film is completely soaked with a positively penetrating sense of dread, hopeless, despair, and emotional deadness that consumes the viewer’s soul from the very beginning to almost the very end. It is only until the final couple minutes and especially the last couple of second of the film where Nikolaidis dares to express any degree of love and compassion in the very final scene when the female protagonist is finally able to let down her guard and express her affection for another human being, but it is ultimately too late as the male protagonist has already dropped dead.  Of course, one could interpret the final scene of the film as a message to viewers that, no matter how shitty and degenerate the world is, one must never hold back on love because you might miss it entirely if you do not act upon it immediately as there is no telling one a lover might perish or when the world might end.  Undoubtedly in its complete and utter lack of special effects and utilization of real location of  strikingly exotic post-industrial ruin, Morning Patrol strangely reminded me of the somewhat strongly forgotten hippie-ish dystopian flick Glen and Randa (1971) directed by McJew Jim McBride (David Holzman's Diary, Breathless), but of course Nikolaidis’ film is a remarkably more entrancing, atmospheric, and culturally pessimistic work that, in terms of its construction as a slow-burning post-apocalyptic celluloid nightmare, seems nearly immaculate. Indeed, aside from its superficial similarities with Glen and Randa, the only other film I can think of comparing Nikolaidis' work to is Andrei Tarkovsky's masterpiece Stalker (1979), which certainly shares some aesthetic similarities as both works manage to make the dystopian and the dejecting so delectable. It should be noted that Morning Patrol is the second film in the director's post-apocalyptic ‘The Shape of the Coming Nightmare’ trilogy, with Nikolaidis' first feature Euridice BA 2O37 being the first chapter and his cinematic swansong The Zero Years being the third and final installment, thus making the triptych seem like the foundation of the auteur's entire celluloid oeuvre. While Morning Patrol is unequivocally the least sexually explicit and most ‘conventional’ chapter in the trilogy, it also happens to be the most immaculate as a disturbingly aesthetically pleasing work that is oppressively foreboding and practically bleeds weltschmerz in a particularly preternatural fashion that no other Mediterranean filmmaker ever seemed capable of. Indeed, if Nikolaidis had a specialized talent, it was making the end of the world seem so innately pernicious yet paradoxically beauteous. 

-Ty E

Apr 21, 2015


During the late 1960s through early 1980s, various auteur filmmakers associated with New German Cinema created cinematic works oftentimes described as ‘anti-Heimat’ films that mocked and ridiculed the traditional Heimatfilm—a popular subgenre from the late 1940s through about the early 1970s that took a sentimental approach to simple rural living and traditionalist values—because they were brainwashed by the 68er-Bewegung German student and then-trendy ‘New Left’ ideologies and associated such films with the National Socialist proclivities of their parents and grandparents generation. The Lowland Countries like Belgium and the Netherlands had their own types of random anti-Heimat films as reflected in works like Fons Rademakers’ Mira (1971) and Alex van Warmerdam flicks like De Noorderlingen (1992) aka The Northerners and Kleine Teun (1998) aka Little Tony, but probably none of these works are as cold, ugly, and tragic as the little known work Kracht (1990) aka Vigour aka Vigor directed by flagrant feminist filmmaker Frouke Fokkema (Wildgroei aka It Will Never Be Spring, De omweg aka The Detour). While I have never seen any of her other works, I did see Martin Koolhoven’s darkly comedic cult flick Suzy Q (1999), which Fokkema penned and which presents a pathetic yet perturbing portrait of a 1960s Dutch working-class family that involves incest, violent misogyny, suicide, and mindless Mick Jagger worship, among other things. Unlike Suzy Q, Kracht is rarely humorous and is even sometimes downright oppressive in its ‘stoic’ depiction of raw and unadulterated human ugliness.  Indeed, one thing that is especially notable about Fokkema's film is that it features a sort of cold emotional detachment that women typically seem to excel at.  As one can expect from a film directed by a feminist that depicts an unlikely love affair between a widowed farmer from rural bumfuck and sensitive female artist type from the big city, Fokkema's directorial debut portrays Dutch peasants as close-minded and lynch-mob-inclined barbarians of the genetically degenerate sort who loathe modern art and lack even the slightest inkling of literacy and cultivation, yet somehow it is still a rather potent cinematic work of the emotionally brutalizing sort that demonstrates that its director seems to have a lot of pent up hatred which she has used to obscure assumed heartbreak and whatnot. In its depiction of a beauteous young blonde painter who lives in the shadow of her lover’s dead wife and tries in vain to get her widowed farmer beau to get over his deceased spouse, Kracht is like the Dutch anti-Heimat equivalent to Hitchcock’s classic Rebecca (1940) sans the Victorian Gothic elegance meets John Boorman’s Deliverance (1972), albeit somewhat darker and drearier than the other two films. Set in a dysgenic rural hellhole in southeastern Holland where the locals speak a dialect of the somewhat obscure Franconian language of Limburgish, Fokkema’s film makes no attempts to conceal its hatred for the simple folk that it portrays as reflected in the fact that various characters are retarded and/or crippled, especially women and child, not to mention the fact that virtually all of them are unlikeable, if not downright creepy in a sinister redneck sort of way. Indeed, Kracht is indubitably a neo-liberal feminist’s worst nightmare, but that does not mean it will not appeal to people that find rednecks to be less repellant than Gloria Steinem fangirls. 

 Kracht begins with a funeral march for the wife of recently widowed quasi-protagonist Bert (Theu Boermans), who is a farmer that looks and even acts like the slightly less attractive brother of Swiss actor Bruno Ganz.  Bert’s wife Marie-Louise’s corpse is being driven around by two goofy brothers, Jeu (Khaldoun Elmecky) and Jo (Bert Geurkink), who resemble the ghostly gangsters from the Israeli cult flick An American Hippie in Israel (1972) aka Ha-Trempist directed by Amos Sefer. In a clear demonstration of what auteuress Fokkema thinks of the local peasants, one of the two brothers remarks regarding Limburg, “The more the land becomes hilly, the more people sided with the Germans. My father used to say that.” While Bert’s wife died of brain cancer, most of the locals believe she worked herself to death and now that she is gone, the protagonist has no clue what to do with his life as he and his beloved have spent virtually the entire lives running their farm business and now he feels that he has lost his way.  Before he watches her body being cremated, Bert takes the wedding band off his wife’s corpse in a symbolic gesture reflecting the fact that he cannot let her go. Bert’s seemingly half-retarded prepubescent son Thomas (Dave van Dinther) is in denial that his mother is dead as indicated in his bizarre remark, “My mother isn’t dead. She always be my mother. And I’ll survive you all. Then you’ll be in jars. There’ll be ten jars on the mantelpiece.”  Of course, the jars Thomas is in reference to the fact that his mother was cremated and her ashes were placed in a vase.  When Bert begins mourning, less than empathetic neighbors scream rather cavalier things from outside his house things like, “Go to work. Your animals are starving. Self-pity. Cut it out.” When Bert’s butcher brother starts a fist fight with him, a neighbor woman remarks, “They’re killing each other. They’ve been doing it for twenty years.”  Undoubtedly, if Bert is a cryptically melancholy man, his butcher brother is as hard and stoic as a rock.  After two months of mopping around, the local Catholic priest visits Bert and, after some arguing, convinces him to go to an agriculture fair in a city 200 kilometers away. Unbeknownst to Bert, he will meet a beautiful young woman in the city that will fall deeply in love with him, but he will be to emotionally ill-equipped to accept her love and will ultimately destroy her. 

 While Bert roams around a large crowd at the agriculture convention in the city, a ravishing young blonde babe named Roos Rozemond (Anneke Blok) randomly begins taking photographs of him because she is attracted to his melancholic essence. Bert eventually notices Roos and decides to follow her to a table and asks her if he can sit next to her.  Upon sitting at the table, Bert tells Roos that he feels like a stranger in the city since he is a country boy and she responds by half-jokingly stating, “I’m always a stranger in this city and I live here.” Indeed, Roos is a rather lonely and somewhat sad young lady and she is attracted to Bert because she could sense a similar feeling of impenetrable loneliness in him. Ultimately, Roos insists on finding Bert a “good hotel” and agrees to meet him later that night for a dinner date. Roos is an artist who, somewhat ironically considering what happens to her later in the film, paints large canvasses of mutilated pigs in a sort of quasi-expressionist style that Bert will ultimately have a hard time appreciating. When Roos and Bert eat dinner with one another later that night, the latter becomes fairly annoyed when the former’s ex-boyfriend Sjors (Rik Launspach) randomly shows up, so he forces his date to leave abruptly with him and they head back to his hotel. When Roos comes back to Bert’s hotel room and gets rather sensual with him, the less than sexually experienced farmer awkwardly remark, “I’m a simple man. I have to get used to it.” When Roos asks Bert if he thinks she’s a prostitute while sitting on his lap in a provocative fashion, he replies, “Yes. You look a bit like those women you have to pay.” When Roos jokes that he can tip her if she wants after they have sex, he somewhat absurdly replies in a hopelessly honest fashion, “Good, money speaks more clearly than love. But it’s confusing with you. You may mean more than just money.” Although they have just met, Roos even goes so far as proclaiming her love for Bert, who opens up enough to reveal that his wife is dead and that he has, “A 9-year-old son. A real asshole.” Ultimately, Bert has too much anxiety about having sex with Roos, so when she falls asleep, he writes her a note with his phone number and abruptly leaves the hotel. Naturally, since she believes that she is in love, Roos wastes no time in calling Bert, not realizing her new beau comes from a backwards hellhole of a small-town where everyone is proudly ignorant, perennially stubborn, and not privy to sensitive artistic types like herself. 

 Upon arriving at Bert’s isolated town via train, Roos is chauffeured by the brothers Jeu and Jo, who shock the young lady by remarking that her beau’s wife only died recently and was purportedly “worked to death.” Roos almost seems petrified upon entering Bert’s seemingly foreboding town due the lack of people and complains, “Are you sure this is it? I don’t see anyone,” to which Jeu and Jo somewhat creepily reply, “They see you.” Indeed, the villagers certainly see her and it does not take them long to treat her like the local ‘bête noire’ because she is a beauteous and free-spirited outsider who threatens their absurdly outmoded way of life. Needless to say, Roos is somewhat disheartened when Bert seems less happy to see her as she is to see him. When Roos has dinner with Bert’s family, she is disturbed by the fact that her lover has an invalid sister that cannot talk and is more or less vegetable. Undoubtedly, the vegetable farmgirl seems to be symbolic of what the director thinks like life is life for a woman in such a small village. Bert’s butcher brother also makes quite the impression on Roos by discussing “artificial insemination” and how America has the “best semen” when it comes to farm animals. When one of Bert’s relatives remarks that Roos reminds him of the sort of models that are featured on local pornographic postcards, the protagonist loses his cool and abruptly leaves the dinner with his lady friend. Instead of talking to her and asking her what she likes, Bert spends most of his time with Roos morbidly talking about his dead wife, thereupon making it quite clear that he is incapable of moving on and starting a life with a new woman. While Bert compliments Roos because she “can listen” and, unlike his relatives, actually cares how how he feels, he is completely incapable of listening back and ultimately treats the hopelessly kind city girl in a rather emotionally and romantically negligent fashion that will ultimately break her. When the two love birds finally have sex for the first time, Bert gets a little too excited and ejaculates before he even manages to penetrate Roos. Of course, the two eventually begin to share a healthy sexual relationship that involves literally rolling around in the hay, but shared carnal knowledge is not enough to sustain their dubious romance. 

 Quite unlike the average western woman, Roos makes the most valiant and uncomfortable attempts to fit in with Bert’s family, including acting as a mother to his mentally feeble misfit son Thomas, who is such an unlikeable young man that he states regarding his own grandmother that she is a “Stupid woman” and brag, “Sometimes I hit her, because she’s so stupid.” Roos even paints a large almost life-size painting of her lover and his brothers and Bert later repays her priceless gesture of love and affection by unwittingly insulting her by attempting to buy her a cheap piece of folk art at a local fair while mocking the sort of modern art she does by describing it as “not really practical.” On top of everything else, Roos is quite unhappy with the fact that Bert’s deceased wife Marie-Louise’s ashes are sitting in plain view in a vase in the living room, as if the dead woman is haunting her beyond the grave. Indeed, at one point in the film, Roos stares in a forlorn fashion at the vase while Bert is banging her in a bestial fashion on the family couch. In what is arguably Roos’ most pathetic attempt at impressing Bert, she begins wearing his dead wife’s rather homely clothes, but it only angers and annoys the widowed farmer, who clearly does not see the young lady as a serious replacement for his deceased spouse. When Roos reveals she is pregnant, Bert becomes so infuriated that he slaps her hard enough to knock her on his ass and then accuses her of seducing him. Clearly deeply hurt by Bert’s belligerent behavior, Roos picks up the vase containing Marie-Louise’s ashes and hurls it at a wall. In a scene that seems like an unintentional parody of shitty Hollywood slasher films, Bert and his brothers slowly chase after Roos through a dirt field in a fashion not unlike Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers when they are stalking one of their victims. When Roos goes to the local priest for help, he dimisses her relationship with Bert and describes it as nothing more than a “one-night stand” and then tells her that it will be best for everyone involved if she goes back to the city. While Roos calls her ex-boyfriend Sjors to pick her up, she also attempts to make one last ditch effort to get back with Bert, but he refuses to listen to her and simply coldly tells her, “It’s no good. It’s over.” Ultimately, Roos decides to kill herself in a rather melodramatic fashion by hanging herself in Bert’s barn, but the rope eventually breaks and a pack of pigs begin gorging on her corpse after it hits the ground. When Bert finds Roos’ bloody and mangled corpse, he cries, “Oh girl…This can’t be…My god” and then yells to his butcher brother when he shows up, “slaughter the animals” and “get lost. She was the only one that listened to me.” Of course, had Bert actually listened to Roos once or twice and treated her like she was actually important to him, she probably would not have killed herself and the two might have even had a happy life together if they moved somewhere else where disapproving relatives were not lurking around every corner. 

 Undoubtedly, Kracht certainly demonstrates that director Frouke Fokkema has the sort of spiteful hatred of peasants that both self-righteous bourgeois white liberals and hormonally imbalanced feminists seem capable of, thus leading me to conclude that she would probably suffer a nervous breakdown if she was somehow forced to take a tour of the American Deep South. At the same time, Fokkema seems to fetishize the backwards farmer in the film, as if she would love nothing more than to be savagely ploughed by the one-eyed stag of a misogynistic redneck in the back of a cow-turd-infested barn. Ultimately, Kracht makes for a great double feature with the Dutch flick De Poolse bruid (1998) aka The Polish Bride directed by Algerian auteur Karim Traïdia, as both films offer very different depictions of Dutch farmers and their love affairs with virtual opposites. While Traïdia’s film is tender and portrays the Groningen countryside as having a sort of magical and mystifying beauty, Fokkema’s film portrays the Limburg countryside as an almost pernicious and certainly oppressive place with an eerie and deathly atmosphere that is likely to kill anyone if they dare to stay there long enough. Indeed, while ostensibly a dark romance flick, Kracht is really a work of Gothic anti-Heimat horror where the hick-hating auteuress seemed to manage to channel all her fears and hatred into the film, thus making for an undeniably potent piece of perturbing celluloid that, despite its cliché depiction of poor and ignorant peasants, still manages to succeed in most of its aesthetic ambitions. Indeed, sort of like the Dutch feminist equivalent to Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) in its depiction of a monstrous hillbilly family that oppresses an outsider, albeit where said outsider falls in love with the monster and ultimately pays for it with her life, Kracht is the one film that has managed to convince me that there is such a thing as Dutch rednecks and they are indubitably more unnerving than the ones you find in hokey American Hebrew-produced horror films because they actually seem realistic and not like grotesque caricatures created by pencil-neck pansies who have never met a real redneck in their entire lives. Unlike many of the German anti-Heimat films of the late-1960s and 1970s, which seem outmoded due to their transparent post-68er-Bewegung political messages, Fokkema’s film has aged quite gracelessly as the passing time has only made the film's already moribund aesthetic tone only seem all the more decayed and rotten. Indeed, had Belgian Baron André Delvaux been a somewhat less cultivated lovelorn Dutch feminist with a cunt instead of a cock instead of an eclectically cultured Walloon magical realist, he might have directed something like Kracht.

-Ty E

Apr 19, 2015

Only Decent People

I am not exactly sure of his exact cultural or ethnic background, but Dutch filmmaker Lodewijk Crijns (Met grote blijdschap aka With Great Joy, Kankerlijers aka YOLO: You Only Live Once) certainly stands out in the Netherlands for making rather racially-charged works of the somewhat dubious and uniquely artistically unmerited sort that are quite accessible to mainstream audiences, as if the filmmaker was trained at the same scatological Semitic film school as the Weitz brothers of American Pie fame. Indeed, with his first feature Jezus is een Palestijn (1999) aka Jesus Is a Palestinian, Crijns not only made a mockery of trendy cults run by megalomaniacs but also the absurdly ‘multicultural’ nature of the contemporary Netherlands, which is beginning to resemble a third world sewer in various urban parts. In his made-for-TV movie Loverboy (2003), Crijns dared to portray the taboo subject of Moroccan ‘loverboys,’ who seduce young and naive white Dutch girls and force them into sex slavery. Undoubtedly, the director’s most controversial yet commercially successful work to date is Alleen maar nette mensen (2012) aka Only Decent People, which is based on the 2009 best-selling novel of the same name by negrophiliac Dutch Israelite Robert Vuijsje (who notably received death threats due to his novel) and which was the second most popular film in the Netherlands in 2012 as a work that won the coveted ‘Gouden Film’ (a dubious award that more or less reduces the value of a film to its commercial success as opposed to artistic merit). Were the film not based on a book written by a Hebrew who is married to a negress, it is quite doubtful it would have ever been made, as it is an innately scathing cinematic work that wallows in rather raunchy racial stereotypes, especially of the Jew and negro oriented sort, with the latter group being depicted in such an unflattering, if not oftentimes realistic, way that one might as well describe Only Decent People as a sort of post-Jolson neo-minstrel show.  It should be noted that Jew-Negro ‘solidarity’ is nothing new in the Netherlands as demonstrated by the fact that Sephardic Jewish filmmaker Pim de la Parra directed the first Surinamese film, Wan Pipel (1976) aka One People, which depicts a bizarre love triangle between a Afro-Surinamese man, Dutch dame, and Hindi chick. As mentioned in passing in Only Decent People, most of the blacks that live in the Netherlands today are Afro-Surinamese since the South American nation of Suriname used to be a Dutch colony and many of these blacks speak Dutch and feel that the Netherlands owes them something since their ancestors were slaves. What makes Crijns' film vaguely intriguing is that it is about Black-Jew relations as opposed to the stereotypical Black-White relations, thus depicting a somewhat absurdist scenario where two different groups with their own very different sets of victim mentalities express their undying hostility for one another, but also their mutual resentment for the white Aryan Dutch.

 As a work about a super swarthy and short young bourgeois Dutch Jew from the upper-middleclass section of Amsterdam who dumps his longtime bitchy Jewess of a girlfriend so that he can realize his dubious dream of procuring a ‘ghetto fabulous’ negress with a big ass, equally big tits, gold teeth, and the cultural sophistication of the typical Detroit welfare queen, Crijns’ film has naturally caused much controversy in and outside of the Netherlands, with everyone from militant black nationalists to mainstream neo-liberal pansies to Zionist Jews condemning the film, as if such a retarded work were worthy of such eclectic attention. Indeed, Only Decent People is the height of aesthetic asininity and pre-packaged Hebraic Hollywood-esque humor, but at least it dares to depict Jews and negroes as something other than the imaginary morally superior virtual angels that they are oftentimes portrayed as in mainstream movies and television shows in the United States. Indeed, Crijns’ film depicts a world where all people are the same in the sense that they all consider themselves superior to other groups, with the Dutch Jews thinking they are superior to all other peoples, including the real white Dutch, and the Afro-Surinamese thinking they are superior to other types of blacks like Antillean and Ghanian negroes. Somewhat fitting for a conspicuously contrived work that lacks even the slightest inkling of artistic merit and was funded by various Jewish sources (including the Abraham Tuschinski Fund), Only Decent People features next to nil actual indigenous white Dutch people and is instead set in a sort of aburdist hyperrealist ‘allochtoon’ nightmare realm where all the less than flattering stereotypes about negroes and Jews that whites hope to ignore are cinematically projectile vomited into their face in what is ultimately a true celluloid disgrace that demonstrates that the Dutch are now paying dearly for their colonial roots and contemporary liberal approach to so-called multiculturalism, among other things.  With the film's gratuitous sex scenes featuring so-called ‘thick’ (translation: overweight) ghetto negresses and special emphasize on the fiercely fetishistic miscegenation-based fantasies of a philistine Jew that looks more like a Mexican Mestizo than a member of the same kosher cosmopolitan tribe as Trotsky and Spielberg, Only Decent People ultimately offers a more eclectically repugnant experience than any of the films of Russian artsploitation filmmakers like Andrey Iskanov and Svetlana Baskova, albeit with none of the marginal artistic merit.

 Like the author of the book of the same name that the film is based on, Only Decent People protagonist David Samuels (played by Geza Weisz, who is the son of Dutch Jewish filmmaker Frans Weisz of Naakt over de schutting (1973) aka Naked Over the Fence fame) is a bourgeois Hebrew with a soft spot for big black ghetto booties who narcissistically sport gold necklaces with their names on them. David lives in the nice respectable area of Amsterdam Old South which his overweight mother Judith (played by auteur Alex van Warmerdam’s wife Annet Malherbe) describes as a place where “only decent people” live, hence the ironical title of the film. Due to being fairly short and swarthy (not to mention the fact he dresses like a would-be-thug), David is oftentimes mistaken for being a Moroccan and thus always wears a Star of David necklace, or as he complains upon being mistaken for an Arab shoplifter by a super Aryan-looking blond male store clerk, “The Dutch can’t tell a Jew apart from a Moroccan. Or a Turk from a Moroccan. In the eyes of Dutch people, they’re all foreigners.” While David has had a happy relationship with his Jewish girlfriend Naomi (Sigrid ten Napel) for over seven years, his voracious thirst for fatty dark meat is beginning to become uncontrollable and he does not care if he brings great shame to his fellow Jews by starting a raunchy romance with a ghetto negress with multiple bastard kids. As the son of a half-Jewish father namedd Bram (played by real-life half-Jew Jeroen Krabbé) who is the proud “editor-in-chief of the only decent current affairs show on national TV” and who looks down on lesser sophisticated “textile Jews” like the protagonist’s girlfriend’s family, David ultimately brings the ultimate shame to his hyper hypocritical neo-liberal Hebrew community.  Luckily for the protagonist, his oh-so-proper family members are too weak and phony to take any real action against his sexually aberrant tendencies, at least at first.

 After offending his girlfriend Naomi by faking an orgasm because he is no longer aroused by her small kosher derriere, David abruptly decides to break things off with his beloved and begins hunting for a sizable dark diva, though she must be a spade sista' who has never been with a non-negro before as he wants to be the first Hebrew to hump her. In his search for a spade babe, David calls the sole negro he knows, Reginaldo, and tells him regarding what kind of woman he is looking for, “For me, she has to be as dark as possible. The darker she is, the closer she’ll be to nature.” Rather absurdly, David's black buddy is repulsed by dark dames and only dates blonde babes, stating of black women, “They’ve got hard, rough faces.” Ultimately, David finds a stereotypical black beastess named Rowanda (Imanuelle Grives) at a club and hits on her by proclaiming that you “can’t trust the Dutch,” as the protagonist rightly believes that he will find common ground with her in their assumed mutual hatred of white blond Aryans.  Not unlike the majority of black people living in the Netherlands, Rowanda is Afro-Surinamese and like of her relatives, she resents Jews as is especially apparent with her mother Janine (Urmie Plein), who states to the protagonist, “In Suriname, there are also Jews who think they’re the boss […] The Dutch owe a lot to Afro-Surinamese black people because of slavery.” As David remarks via narration regarding the similar victim mentality that both blacks and Jews have, “Negroes think of slavery every day. Besides negroes, nobody thinks of slavery. Jews think of World War II every day. Besides Jews, nobody thinks of World War II.”  In a rather bizarre scene that demonstrates David's delusional arrogance, the protagonist infuriates Janine by arguing that the holocaust was worse than centuries of black enslavement, as if some of the most heinous merchants during the African slave trades, not to mention top mass murderers of the 20th-century, were not Jewish.  Somewhat absurdly, Rowanda’s younger brother blames the fact that he, his sister, and most other Afro-Surinamese negroes have bastard kids on the fact that, “…my ancestors were separated from their families during slavery.” While Rowanda and her relatives trash talk on Jews and virtually every other race and culture, David mostly takes it like a little bitch aside from on the one occasion where he attempts to deflect Jewish guilt for the African slave trades by arguing that the holocaust was worse than slavery.  Indeed, like most miscegenators, David is willing to go to great masochistic extremes to be with his ‘African queen,’ but he soon learns that, as a pampered Israelite from Amsterdam's most posh neighborhood, he is not quite fit to live the ghetto negro lifestyle.

Rowanda incessantly tells David she doesn't like “stingy men,” which really means that she expects any man that is screwing her to buy her whatever she wants. When David does not last long the first time they ‘make love,’ Rowanda complains, “You don’t last long. You’re stingy,” but the protagonist does not mind as he ridiculously believes that he is in love and even tells his parents such.  Indeed, David describes having sex with a black woman as being like “another sport” in comparison to spoiled Jewish girls who, as the protagonist's ex-girlfriend demonstrates at the beginning of the film, just lay dead during coitus as if they are a corpse. When Rowanda comes to his mother’s conspicuously kosher birthday party, things end badly after the protagonist’s father Bram asks the black gal what her father does for a living. Like most members of the global African community, Rowanda is a fatherless bastard and she is so offended by Bram’s seemingly banal everyday question that she pathetically attempts to criticize him for owning and reading so many books, thus revealing her inferiority complex in the presence of an ostensibly sophisticated Jewish intellectual. Ultimately, David’s romance with Rowanda goes sour when he begins hanging out with her ‘pimp’ cousin Ryan (played by a rapper named ‘Negativ’), who mocks the Jewboy for partaking in cunnilingus (“Men don’t do that. We do not do oral sex. It’s humiliating”) and monogamy. Needless to say, when Ryan hooks David up with a low-class Antillean negress named Alessandra and Rowanda catches her kosher beau dancing with the dark dame at a club, all hell breaks loose. After assaulting Alessandra in a slapstick-oriented ghetto booty brawl, Rowanda slaps the shit out of David and screams at him, “You’re the opposite of a bounty, a white man who hangs out with blacks too much. You copy all their bad habits. At least, you know what to expect from a negro. You’re much more dangerous. I thought you had respect for me.” Naturally, Rowanda tells David to go fuck himself and Ryan assures him that he will help him to find more big black butts.  Of course, as fairly gentle Jew-boy David soon learns, his pathetic kosher libido is no match for Ryan's mandingo negro sexual virility.

 When David comes home after his fight with Rowanda, he is surprised to find his father and his friends in the company of a young well groomed negress named Rita (Belinda van der Stoep) who apparently has an internship at Bram's network and is studying Eastern European immigration to the Netherlands.  As a hardcore fan of ghetto fabulous negresses, David is rather offended by what he sees as Rita flushing her culture down his father’s kosher toilet and more or less accuses her of being a sell-out ‘Uncle Tom.’ David also rightly describes Bram and his Jewish friends’ conversation as being nothing more than “neo-liberal, armchair socialist talk” after listening to the old liberal Jews regurgitate rubbish about Israel that they probably heard Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz (aka ‘Jon Stewart’) pontificate about on The Daily Show.  In fact, David gets so agitated by the entire scenario that he accuses his father of being a phony half-Jew and then declares in a manner that makes him sound like some sort of militant post-Irgun Zio-gangster suffering from a bad case of wishful thinking, “Dutch Jews think Israelis are barbarians who treat the Palestinians in a brutal manner. But the Israelis think Dutch Jews are sissies. If they had lived in Germany during World War II…they would have taught those Germans a lesson. They would have turned the entire Germany into one barren field. The holocaust would have never happened. Amsterdam would have been crawling with Jews at the moment. And the embalmed body of Adolf Hitler would have been a trophy in the Jewish Historic Museum with queues as long as for the Anne Frank House.” As David later tells his father, he is offended that he treated Rowanda like untermensch scum while fawning over Rita just because she is a negress who can speak and dress properly.  Of course, little does David realize that Rita is the perfect negress for him.

 While hanging out with Rowanda’s cousin Ryan, David gets into all sorts of degeneracy, including getting in a threesome in a storage closet with a random fat black single mother with fake blonde hair while the revoltingly wanton woman’s young son looks on while licking a lollipop in his stroller (notably, the protagonist receives a blow job from the black broad). After deciding to opt out of a quasi-homoerotic orgy involving one ratchet-faced black anti-beauty, Ryan, a sleazy scrawny wigger, a towering black dude with large bitch-tits, and a violent gangster thug that seems to be suffering a perennial temper tantrum, David attempts to catch a taxi and is robbed and beaten by the gypsy driver and his equally swarthy friend for refusing to pay an absurdly inflated rate to get back to Old South. When David’s ex-girlfriend's friend Esther spots the protagonist talking to black teenage mothers at a local hospital where she works as a nurse, news get around the Jewish community that he is a depraved degenerate surreptitiously spreading his semitic seed among Amsterdam's underage Afro-Surinamese rabble. Ultimately, David’s father tells him enough is enough, kicks him out of the house, and tells him he cannot move back until he registers for college.  Indeed, David is such a loser that all he has to do to avoid sleeping in a gutter is to register for college classes that his parents will gladly pay for, but he is just too damn stupid and lazy to accomplish such a simple feat.  After attempting to get back with Rowanda and nearly having his cock cut off by her and her two brothers in what would have surely been a less than kosher second circumcision, David becomes desperate and attempts to get back with his Jewish princess Naomi, but when he walks in her room he finds his Jewish best friend performing cunnilingus on her kosher cunt, thus confirming Ryan's belief that eating pussy is for bitches. After hitting rock bottom, David is forced to take a lowly job at KFC which he rather enjoys since he constantly gets to see big black booties since it is a fried chicken fast-food joint and all. While working one day, David bumps into his dad’s black intern Rita and the protagonist is shocked to see that she is dressed just like Rowanda and even sports a similar gold necklace with the name “Sherida” on it. As the young black professional explains, Sherida is her real name and “Rita” is her “Dutch” name that she used to help land her a job. When Rita leaves, David is quite enthralled to find that the dark diva has written her phone number on a napkin for him. In the end, negrophiliac Jew David gets both brains and booty, thus confirming that sometimes ‘love conquers all,’ even when between a tiny Israelite and a negress twice his size. 

 Ironically, despite the almost unanimous agreement among the Dutch media that the film was racist, Only Decent People was not only a huge hit in the Netherlands, but also in Suriname where it was completely sold out the first week after its premiere, thus indicating that the average lumpenprole negro probably prefers seeing their race presented as a bunch of pimps and hoes rather than in the sort of phony way Hollywood depicts blacks, as if every negro child has the potential to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner or rocket scientist. Personally, I found the film to be an exceedingly grotesque experience that transcended the average Japanese Pinku eiga in terms of vulgarity and human depravity, as a sort of all-too-flashy Dutch equivalent to a Todd Solondz movie, albeit nowhere near as cleverly and brilliantly depraved in the sort of idiosyncratic autistic-neurotic Hebraic way that the Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) director is best known for. Indeed, had director Lodewijk Crijns exercised the sort of debauched ‘subtly’ that Solondz has demonstrated with his works, he probably would not have received such a public outcry from Only Decent People, but then again the film probably would not have been such a great commercial success as the scandal it caused certainly lured the lemmings to the theaters.  Certainly, I have no doubt in my mind that Crijns' film would be a huge hit in the United States if it were remade in English, as it is not only tasteless enough to appease the American filmgoer, but also features a more honest look at race that most yanks would love to see but are denied by Hebraic agitpropandists in Hollywood who thrive on mocking whites whilst basking in their own Jewishness (after all, who has ever seen a Seth Rogen or Jonah Hill flick were they don't incessantly allude to their horrid Hebraicness?!). While I respect the fact that Crijns’ film unequivocally demonstrates that foreigners, including rich Jews that have been there for hundreds of years, have no true loyalty to the Netherlands and resent indigenous white Dutch people, Only Decent People reeks of MTV anti-aesthetic retardation of the ADD oriented sort and thus should be watched with caution lest the viewer contract spiritual syphilis. Ultimately, the film is a sort of satirical take on the age-old phrase ‘Once you go black, you never go back,’ which, depending on the viewer, obviously can be interpreted in many different ways. Indeed, my girlfriend and I interpreted Only Decent People as a sort of warped cautionary tale, though I would be lying if I did not admit that I find the idea of a romance between a turd-sized Jew-boy and gigantic ghetto fabulous negress to be an innately hilarious prospect that would surely sire superlatively racially schizophrenic progeny as the life of black-Jewish white nationalist terrorist Leo Felton attests to.

-Ty E