Bastard Out Of Carolina


(out of 5)

Anjelica Huston makes an incredible debut as director with this riveting drama. Based on Dorothy Allison’s novel, it concerns the harrowing experiences of a little girl (an excellent ) who endures being sexually abused by her sadistic stepfather () without her mother () being aware of it.  Assembling an impressive cast, which also includes a terrific supporting performance by  (just look at her face when she sees the bruise on Malone’s body), this incredibly painful experience is one of the most honest films ever made on the subject of child abuse, and for that reason it is required viewing by even the most squeamish audiences. Huston forces us to stop pretending it’s something that only happens in far away places and looks closely at the issue, making for a film that is politically satisfying as well as intellectually stimulating. At the same time, her steady hand as director serves the story and makes sure that we are constantly seeing the film through the eyes of the characters and not her own personal judgments.

Out of Carolina Productions

USA, 1996

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the book by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Independent Spirit Awards 1996.

Toronto International Film Festival 1996

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