David Knight - 5th Dec 2018

Belgian director Joe Vanhoutteghem presents a fever nightmare about the horrors of domestic abuse for the Brussels-based rapper Zwangere Guy which is likely to stay with you for a very long time if you watch it. So be prepared to see some very disturbing imagery if you do choose to watch it.

Vanhoutteghem's method, as he's shown in some astonishing videos for The Hickey Underworld and others, is to establish an aesthetic of chaos, a sort of living Hell, in which anything is possible. Like a form of experimental theatre, there's a thread of black comedy in much of his work and incredibly enough, even in this, his most brutal work, its there.

To put it simply, the video is about the impact that watching domestic violence has on children - with the main protagonist - Zwangere Guy himself - effectively brought back from the dead to relive the experience as a kind of public spectacle, his eyes forced open, like Alex in A Clockwork Orange.

The approach is designed to remove any ambiguity about what happens, the scale of the crime. It certainly does that. This is completely traumatic to watch, just as Vanhoutteghem intends. 

But it is ironic that the video can be seen on YouTube with no parental advisory warning apparent anywhere. Surely, that's the whole point: no child should ever see this.

Credits

Focus PullerJoris Rymen
DirectorJoe Vanhoutteghem
Production CompanyCzar Films
Executive ProducerEurydice Gysel
ProducerMaarten De Sutter
Location ManagerZane Garitte
Focus PullerBart Bleuzé
Director of PhotographyMenno Mans
DITNoor De Heer
Art DirectorGeert Paredis
Set DresserPeggy Verstraeten
StylistSofie Callaerts
Make-upCharlotte Blommaert
EditorManu Van Hove @ Het Digitalal Geweld

David Knight - 5th Dec 2018

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