The Colony (2015) Movie Reviews

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Colony (2015) Movie Reviews

The Colony (2015) Movie Reviews

Yes, people actually do that and others fall for that, just like in the movie

The film attempts to spin a thriller story inside the larger and more important history of Colonia Dignidad, a torture, rape and death place run like a religious cult by a pedophile Nazi ex-nurse preacher in collaboration with both the Chilean and German authorities. It sounds corny, yet it's true. Before and during the brutal military dictatorship of Pinochet in Chile, this guy ran the colony for 33 years, only being accused, then running away, then being caught and convicted... at 84 years old, much too late for anything. His right hand man is still living in Germany, close to his many victims that returned home, because the German constitution forbids deportation of its citizens.

The movie depicts the horrors inside in typical American fashion, focusing on what restricts personal liberty and rights, but shying away from actual physical blood violence or nakedness. The scene where Schaefer enters the shower of the young boys and starts undressing for a full second was comically reminiscent of the old movies when people kissed and then there got up from the bed a scene later.

Even so, the psychical and emotional torture is shown quite readily, shocking the viewer into asking: how is this even possible? Just look it up: cults sprout all over the place with millions and even billions of people happy to partake in whatever horrible fairy tale psychopaths can imagine, as long as they don't feel responsible.

As a movie, though, the film fails in several directions. Many have said that the characters weren't sufficiently developed. The movie was not about the characters, but about the colony, so no, I don't agree. However many dramatic moments seemed crafted specifically for the movie, especially towards the ending. As such, I believe the biggest sin of the film was not deciding from the get go what it wanted to be. We spend the last twenty minutes of this almost two hour movie trying to develop empathy towards the characters that were neglected until then, while the epilogue is the lazy text over saying what happened - or more like not happened - to the people involved.

To the question about the reality of the story, the romantic story of the two is fantasy, while the things inside the colony are likely worst than how they have been portrayed. Strangely enough, while the movie made this horror more visible, to actually find well documented articles about it has become more difficult, as many are talking about the film rather than reality.

Bottom line: solid acting, horrible reality, kind of bland adaptation. A movie certainly worth seeing, but not a fun one at all. To be recommended at least for making this visible to large audiences.

The Colony (2015) Movie Reviews
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