Fantastic independent film: ugly Americans, ugly America.  I swear this is a post 9/11 ass-ramming for a nation of bullies, patriarchal, abusive conquistadors drunk on their own “civilizing missions.”  This white man’s burden gets an unexpected take, when a wild, feral woman is found living like an animal in the woods.

The woman winds up stretched out in a torture position for most of the film, reminiscent of the torture of prisoners at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, as well as at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.  The man, Chris Cleek, who runs the show by capturing the woman, is a militaristic, unhinged authoritarian.  He acts out of a need for natural order and dominance by the white male in charge – himself.  His family lives in terror of his temper, and all are scared of crossing him, with good reason.

The acting is chilling to the bone, by the entire cast.  The terrorized family unit really brings the story to life, as it all unfolds in broad daylight.

The socio-political backdrop in The Woman is too obvious to ignore when Chris acts repeatedly out of his supposedly noble motives to tame the savage for her own good, while his own acts are equally as savage throughout.  This glaring hypocrisy adds to the tension, as Chris’ orders and his Manifest Destiny vision are similar themes to what passes for American politics on the larger scale out in the world.  The hypocrisy scales up too.

The Woman ends pretty savagely, so I wouldn’t consider this a kids’ movie.  Definitely earned its R rating with an old-school grindhouse bit of splatter at the opportune moments.

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