Friday, 4 February 2011

'Orozco the Embalmer' Review (SculptingFragments)

Dir. Tsurisaki Kiyotaka

The film opens with a tour of a rundown town in Columbia, derelict buildings and bodies in the street.
The people that live here, live poor and die poor, in the hands of the legendary Orozco the Embalmer.

This documentary follows Orozco as he does his daily job of receiving corpses, gutting them and filling them up, not with embalming fluid as you'd expect but with old rags and newspaper.   The conditions he works in are revolting, the cutting and gutting takes place in what looks like an abandoned garage packed full of storage boxes.
His method is brutal and careless, which makes the whole process seem more surreal. One thing you will notice is that he never shows any compassion for the body, everything is very rough and rushed.  We are not used to seeing this side of the world,  life here is cheap.

When not in the garage we survey the local town discovering body after body. Men, women, old and young, they can all be found in the streets of Colombia and all end up at Orozco's.

To say this film is hard hitting is an understatement, after just ten minutes of watching i was ready to turn it off and try another time, but i stayed with it and with each scene a more horrific corpse greeted me. Where as many other 'Shockumentaries' feature dead bodies that have met their untimely deaths due to some unfortunate accident, these people die as it is their way of life. i can bet that only a minuscule amount of people die from natural causes here, and from watching this, it serves more like an 'eye-opener' to know the conditions other parts of the world live in. They are not lucky like us to be provided with excellent health care or even a justice system.  These people are the underdogs of life.

Unfortunately the edition that i am reviewing does not have english subtitles, despite most of the dialogue is the odd word or sentence here and there, there is one interview which would be nice to know what was being said. Apart from that this extremely enjoyable experience last a very long 90 minutes. I've always heard people saying after watching a death film they're left with a dirty feeling. I never experienced that feeling before but now i know.
I need a shower...


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