In the Basement

Nov 27 - Dec 03, 2015

(Ulrich Seidl, 2015, Austria)

Seattle Premiere!

A documentary about people and their obsessions, and what they do in their basements in their free time.

Hold on to your lederhosen, Austria has a few freaks up its sleeve. In the Basement is a subterranean descent through a menagerie of human depravities.  It’s a theme park ride through close quarter confessions from closet sociopaths. Luckily, all are relatively harmless, and the documentarian Ulrich Seidl (Dog Days, Import/Export) emerged from his subject’s basements unharmed and unscarred.

Here you’ll see what he survived: alcoholic oompa bands, Nazis and knot kinks, deviants and racists, all seeking solace in their freakish recreation of choice. (A lucky few cling with unbearable erotic tension to a single other fellow weirdo who shares their hideous impulses.) It’s a tableau of depravity, kept desperately private.

And what does it tell us? It certainly tells us something about shame. These weirdos are choking back tears as they confess their love of Nazi paraphernalia. Or collecting dolls. Or practicing sadomasochism. So what else do humans hide? Why do we feel the urge to hide it? And why, in secret, do we scratch that secret itch until the skin is weird and inflamed, a disgraceful and hideous scar? Who knows. But it makes for a damn good viewing.


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