This Filthy Earth
Happy day. The entire village gathers for Kath and Buto's wedding...
dir Andrew Kötting
scr Andrew Kötting, Sean Lock
with Rebecca Palmer, Demelza Randall, Shane Attwooll, Xavier Tchili, Dudley Sutton, Ina Clough, Peter Hugo-Daly, Eve Steele, Ryan Kelly, Benji Ming, Bill Rodgers, Robert Hickson
release 2.Nov.01
FilmFour 01/UK 1h51

2˝ out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
this filthy earth This film is so earthy you can practically smell the screen! Set in a remote Yorkshire farming community, it's the story of two sisters, Francine and Kath (Palmer and Randall), clinging to their land and each other. Buto (Attwooll) is the father of Kath's young daughter, and marries her as a way to get his hands on her farm. While Francine has a soft spot for a foreign traveller (Tchili) who incites racism and superstitious dread among the rest of the villagers. Amid the rain, mud and every bodily fluid imaginable, you know it won't end in sweetness and light.

Despite the grim, relentlessly grimy story, Kötting's visual sense is poetic and fascinating. He captures images--even hideous ones--with a real sense of beauty, finding unexpected humour in the middle of unspeakable squalor and ignorance. Odd digital effects add to the film's sense of texture--stressed images, skipped frames, unsynchronised sound, atonal music. It feels ancient and tribal, especially as these people behave like medieval peasants, fearful of everything. The arrival of a massive rainstorm is like the wrath of God against their paganism! And the performances are perfectly in line with this--consistently involving and detailed, lively and honest. Yet it's all so incessantly gruesome that it's hard to really care about anyone or anything. And Kötting goes overboard with the effects at the end, muddling the story's climactic scene in the process and leaving us feeling battered and buried in the mud ourselves.
adult themes and situations, violence, gore, language cert 15 16.Oct.01

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
this filthy earth send your review to Shadows... Shane Attwooll, London: "The film for me was dirty, messy, smelly, wet, angry and beautifully honest." (15.Feb.02)

Bryan Gray, net: 1 out of 5 stars "This is by far the worst movie i'd ever seen. it all started when my sister and i took a trip to france to visit some friends there. well one time my sister, one of our friends and i were very bored so we decided to leave the island and travel 25 miles on a bike to la rochelle to see 2 fast 2 furious. when we got there we couldn't find a theater except for the film festival---this filthy earth was the only english one so we decided to watch it. holy sh*t it sucked. so dark, dirty and disgusting. the acting was horrible and storyline crude. we wanted to leave but we were so tired after the bike ride we had to watch the 111 minutes of horror." (25.Nov.03)

Richard Boath, UK: "what a great British film, if you ain't British you won't get the humour, it's like Brits watching so called French humour or black humour. The film is raw, gritty, enthralling and is based on what our British heritage was and still is in some rural community backwaters. To fully appreciate the film you must watch it about 3 times to see all the intricate details that are in the background, I laughed so much I missed half of it first time round." (20.Jan.06)

© 2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall