I’m sure many will not appreciate the cinematic excellence of Villaronga’s In a Glass Cage. The excruciating and gory close shots of cutting flesh are a definite put off, so much so that often it’s hard to concentrate on the outstanding acting, picturesque scenes and Javier Navarette’s beautifully apt score.
The plot follows Klaus (Günter Meisner), an ex-Nazi doctor, who brutally tortures young boys for his own sexual pleasure. When he comes to realise his sins, he throws himself off a building hoping for the sweet release of death. But instead he is punished with paralysis, having to live the rest of his life in an iron lung. With the need for special care, his wife hires Angelo (David Sust), a supposed nurse, who used to be one of Klaus’ victims. Quite predictably Angelo is there to get his revenge, but shockingly becomes obsessed with Klaus’ journals, which depict his old tactics of sadism. The young nurse proceeds to follow in the doctor’s footsteps, with the latter as a helpless voyeur and his daughter as a subservient apprentice.
The film is inspired by the troublesome pursuits of Gilles de Rais, a 15th century knight and lord. Rais was convicted of violently and sexually abusing up to 200 young boys and girls, ranging from the age of six to eighteen.
Villaronga’s directorial debut is listed as an art house drama with mystery, but the directors exceptional talent horrifies the viewer and keeps you on the edge of your seat, hardly letting you take a breath yourself.
In a Glass Cage
director AGUSTÍ VILLARONGA
director of photography JAUME PERACAULA
cast GÜNTER MEISNER, MARISA PAREDES and DAVID SUST
words PRIYESH PATEL
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