Violation (SXSW) review

As rape revenge films go, Violation may be one of the toughest watches I can recall in some time.

With her marriage about to implode, Miriam returns to her hometown to seek solace in the comfort of her younger sister and brother-in-law. But one evening a tiny slip in judgement leads to a catastrophic betrayal, leaving Miriam shocked, reeling, and furious.

Believing her only recourse is to exact revenge, Miriam takes extreme action, but the price of retribution is high, and she is not prepared for the toll it takes as she begins to emotionally and psychologically unravel.

Miriam herself is a fascinating character; deeply unhappy in her own marriage, she is violated against her will by someone she trusted and now her only recourse is revenge; but how far is too far?

Violation asks the tough questions about survivors of rape; does the pain ever go away? What happens if you ever do get the chance to avenge your attacker?

We also look at victim shaming and how voices that are not heard can react in the most vicious ways.

Violation is also harrowingly violent with enough blood to fill plenty of slasher films, but it is the journey of Miriam that while feels slightly unfinished, is the most compelling part of the piece.

The shock factor may wear off on multiple viewings but the messages of the film will certainly live long in the memory.

Violation screened as part of SXSW Film Festival 2021 and debuts on Shudder from 25th March 2021.

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