A Body in the Forest

Film
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Catalonia: four men on a boar hunt discover the remains of a girl, Montse. The corpse is cut up and daubed 'whore' in blood. The Civil Guard send in an outside investigator, Lt Cifuentes (Rossy de Palma). Ignoring the local policeman, who focuses on the centuries of ill fate that have befallen the girl's family, Cifuentes interviews Montse's last few acquaintances, treating them with mounting contempt as she reconstructs events. Occasionally we hear the girl's voice, winding its way through the film's staggered flashback structure. Writer/director Jord√° has an elliptical way with film grammar, and plays similar insouciant games with the audience's identification. Rather than an unreliable narrator, it's the protagonist who proves, well, ethically double-jointed. The film works as an enjoyably over-heated investigative thriller, but also as a bleak indictment of a community where superstition and bigotry conceal a contemporary culture of callous opportunism.

By: NB

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