AKA: The Angels’ Melancholia
Directed by: Marian Dora
Starring: Zenza Raggi (Brauth), Carsten Frank (Katze), Janette Weller (Melanie), Bianca Schneider (Bianca), Patrizia Johann (Anja), Margarethe von Stern (Clarissa), Peter Martell (Heinrich)
Country: Germany, European Cinema
Language: German (English Subtitles)
Genres: Bizarre-Surreal, Animals, Violence against Women, Religion, Scat, Insects, Gruesome, Pissing, Self-Harm
Plot – Spoilers:
Melancholie der Engel is one of those effed up movies that divides opinion. Some consider it a milestone work, others feel it’s an extended pile of bullshit.
There isn’t much of a plot here. A couple of young girls are at some kind of carnival and pursued by two men who convince them to partake in a few days of debauchery at an isolated place. That’s about it, plot-wise. However, there are plenty of effed up scenes involving animals, insects, small creatures like lizards and frogs and of course human pain. But you need to be patient if that’s all you’re in it for, because Melancholie der Engel is a long movie. At over 2 1/2 hours, it can feel longer if surrealistic stuff isn’t something you particularly enjoy.
There are plenty of effed up movies around, but what works for Melancholie der Engel is that it leaves you repulsed while watching it. There’s something about the juxtaposition of grotesque and debauched imagery, locations and scenarios that works well for this. You can get a sense of this right at the start when a shot of fries dipped in ketchup seems repelling because of the imagery around it.
There are plenty of religious motifs and one of the characters, Brauth has been designed to look like Jesus especially in the scene where he rapes Anja. All said, if you have time and patience, it can be a satisfying effed up experience.