Director: Benedek Fliegauf
Occasionally you watch a film where the thought of describing it later to someone feels impossible. Womb appears to be that film for me of 2010. Emerging Master Program, Focus on Benedek Fliegauf. The story is about a woman, Rebecca (Eva Green), and man, Tommy (Matt Smith), who meet as children in a seaside town and form an instant bond. When Rebecca moves away they are not reunited until many years later. Their relationship is always one of close friendship but not romantic, as Rebecca appears to be uncomfortable with the idea. When Tommy is killed in a freak car accident the science fiction angle of this otherwise simple, dramatic film takes hold. Feeling life cannot go on without Tommy she goes to the “Department of Genetic Replication” and with Tommy’s DNA is impregnated with an identical Tommy. She gives birth to him via cesarian and raises Tommy as her own son, never telling him the truth. What ensues is a twisted story about the mother-child connection, and incestual feelings Rebecca holds for her Tommy child, and his undeniable and unexplainable attraction towards her as he grows up.
Womb plays very slowly for the viewer but the anticipation of the truth being revealed, as well as the fascination with what has happened, build up such a reaction inside of you that you cannot stop watching. It does address the notion of cloning briefly, commenting on other “copies”, and how they are perceived in society. The term “artificial incest” repeats in your mind long after the film concludes as you ponder the idea of a woman giving birth to her own mother, or the like. Or the mention, by Tommy himself, how copies smell different, like window cleaner. Never knowing that he, himself, is a copy. The heart of the film lies in the relationship between Rebecca and Tommy, and how each must reconcile what has been done once the truth is revealed. They live a very secluded life and each person Tommy brings in to it as he grows up causes different degrees of jealousy from Rebecca and finally great depression. She has re-created her best friend and soul mate only to watch him grow apart from her as he matures. For it may be the same Tommy on a scientific level but the memories are different and nothing can change that fact. Womb is utterly fascinating to watch, ponder, dissect, and try to understand the myriad of ideas it creates. Fliegauf has definitely created something that stands apart from everything else and proves that his inclusion in the “Emerging Master” program is well deserved.
This film was screened at the Reykjavek International Film Festival, 2010.
Director: Benedek Fliegauf
Producers: Roman Paul, Gerhard Meixner, Andreas Muhi
Editors: Patricia Rommel, Xavier Box
Screenwriter: Benedek Fliegauf
Cinematography: Peter Szatmari
Cast: Eva Green, Matt Smith, Istvan Lenart, Lesley Manville
Production Company: Razor Film Produktion, Inforg Studio