890. Angry Man – Anita Killi

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SUMMARY: A young boy tries to deal with the complex reality of having an abusive father.

WHY IT’S HERE: Norwegian director Anits Killi’s ‘Angry Man’ is a brilliant but deeply disturbing look at domestic violence in which little Boj tries to deal with the effects of having an emotionally volatile and physically violent father. Crucially, ‘Angry Man’ focuses on the grey area of the situation as much as the nightmarish reality of the violence. Boj himself differentiates his father and the beast he calls Angry Man as two different beings and the father is depicted as a troubled man struggling to deal with his emotions. ‘Angry Man’ does not make excuses for domestic violence but it does show it in all its complexity, with the father also portrayed as a victim of his own mental condition. Likewise, the mother and son are portrayed as having a deep love for him even as they live in fear of the next eruption. Killi’s astute handling of this tricky issue is complemented beautifully by her haunting artwork, with her jarring, hollow-eyed characters managing to encapsulate the wide emotional range represented in the slice of their life with which we are presented. Completely sidestepping melodrama and cliché, it is unsurprising that ‘Angry Man’ met with universal acclaim and won a clutch of awards. While it may not be everyone’s idea of an enjoyable watch, it is a rewarding, informative and entirely satisfying film that everyone should make the effort to see.

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