The Great Things About Dogtooth

Posted by Chuck, April 7, 2011 07:00am | Post a Comment

That it was nominated for Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars has a double meaning, because the Greek film Dogtooth reinvents word meanings, too. From the first lines, we hear the three grown up children (in all senses young adults) absorbing a notion that a “sea” is a chair, and that carbine is a “beautiful white bird.” These substitute meanings of common words come from their parents, a bespectacled father (played by Christos Stergioglou) and worrisome mother (Michelle Valley)—who together have quarantined their children from the outside world on a spacious compound with a swimming pool. With no idea of what lurks beyond the tall fencing, these children buy everything they’re told by their parents wholesale. That is—they are promised—until the day their dogtooth falls out, which will be the indication that they’re fit for the sordid world beyond. Dogteeth don’t just fall out, but they don’t know that. Just as they don’t know what a “pussy” or a “zombie” is. They only know what is conveyed to them, and what’s conveyed is prGirlyotective code, lies, fables and overly simplistic notions.

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