Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Unnatural and Accidental|
Actor: Carmen Moore; Emily Aldon
Director: Carl Bessai
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Based on the shocking true story of Vancouver's most frightening serial killings.
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Disturbing, creep and controversial-
C. Fairbanks | Santa Barbara, Ca. | 10/30/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Unnatural & Accidental is a dramatized film version of Marie Clements' stage play The Unnatural and Accidental Woman. The only reason why I wanted to see this film is because I am a fan of Tantoo Cardinal, but there are many other good reasons to see the film. This movie was intense! This was a very painful movie to watch: disturbing, creepy, and controversial. To me, those are some key elements of a good film.
The film is based on true events, referring to the deaths of 10 native Canadian women on Vancouver's east side in the 1980's from acute alcohol poisoning. The women were known heavy drinkers of skid row and it was assumed they had died from self-induced alcohol poisoning until it was learned that each had been seen with the same man before their deaths.
Rebecca is the daughter (played by Carmen Moore) of one of the victims. After the death of her father, she begins going into the skid row district to search for her long missing mother (Tantoo Cardinal). There were a few themes going on at the same time; deliberate avoidance of justice, racism, alcoholism, the heinous affects of colonization on indigenous families; women and children. There is a quote from the movie that I think that plays well to the one of the themes of the movie and the filming technique prevalent through the whole movie, "alcohol is a spirit, it fills you up with something if you didn't have enough spirit in you" (quote is not verbatim). At times I felt like my equilibrium was off because of the swaying of the camera. It was an effective technique in feeling like your actually having a drink with these ladies rather than just observing the film. The women give a very haunting performance; their images of drunken despair reaching out to lost loves and orphaned children are chilling.
The film starts off hard, gripping and promising, then by mid film you start to feel it shake and not follow through. There a couple of other drawbacks as well. The film is difficult to follow; some of the scenes are filmed with a vague dreamlike quality to it that feels almost like an amateur filmed it. I wasn't sure what was real or not. I started getting lost with the time sequences of the film. The other most apparent thing amiss was that there was not enough character development. I felt there could have been some more work on Rebecca's and her mother's past. Why was Rebecca chosen to find her mother's murderer?
Another disappointment is The film starts off with a strong implication in how racism played a huge role in how the killer got a way with killing for so long, but then it falls short in supporting this or even spending time developing this. I believe the film would have had a much harder impact if this had been more emphasized and not left as an implication or bad taste in your mouth.
Over all, I recommend the film. Put on a pot of coffee, invite some friends over (the more diverse crowd the better), and then enjoy some good discussion!