Covered in mud – Scumbag review


    Scumbag, by Slovak filmmakers Rudolf Biermann and Mariana Čengel Solčanská, is a solid political drama that takes no prisoners. Although their story has a documentary flair, addressing the real tragedy of the murder of Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and adapting a book by Árpád Soltész, Biermann and Solčanská are drawn to themes of power and corruption in a universal way, without claiming any right to the truth.

    The new prime minister, Bobo (Marko Igonda), quickly realizes that his associates are carrying out illegal business projects, sexually abusing underage girls, drowning in drugs and alcohol. When the first shock has passed, vomited with doubts straight into the lake, the head of state has no choice but to become part of this group.

    We come across a chess board, on which all the pieces have already been placed and all orders have been given. Despite an unexpected, late transition from political drama to a reporter's investigation, Scumbag lacks a proper exposition of political heroes and the complexity of their intentions and actions, which leaves it to deal mostly with conspiracy theories. Even a daring genre shift fails to have a narrative meaning.

    We end up with the same thought we started with – politics means rolling in the mud, and everyone has to get dirty. Scumbag is accompanied by the impression that not only is the plot inevitably coming to a dead end, but politics itself might be a trap with no way out.

    Last modified on 15-10-2020