Women in Dark Times

Women in Dark Times

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By Lauren Bliss

Wetlands lets the abject speak for the body. A film based on the best-selling autobiography of the same title by Charlotte Roche, it tells the coming-of-age of Helen (Carla Juri) who (in her words) makes her genitals a ‘living experiment’. Believing that the world is too obsessed with hygiene, Helen undertakes a series of grotesque encounters, in public toilets, with random strangers, and with foreign objects (vegetables). Much of the film is comprised of her placing her fingers into her various orifices and tasting whatever comes out. The pure disgust is slicked over with a pop sensibility, this is clearly a film marketed to teenage girls (if Bend It Like Beckham with a major case of gastro-enteritis can possibly provide a new angle into the heavily saturated teen movie market). Helen’s wayward, pubescent journey from childhood into the adult unknown is explored through a commercial aesthetic, the film’s rapid cuts, use of pop music, and heavily scripted one-liners forming a glossy ensemble that ensure cult potential.