Dutch director Alex van Warmerdam’s black comedy combines elements of Jean Renoir’s classic Boudu Saved from Drowning (remade as Down and Out in Beverly Hills) with Michael Haneke’s Funny Games in a well-crafted if unsubtle allegory of contemporary European class warfare. The film opens with a priest leading armed men through the woods to rout a trio of underground denizens. One of them, the bedraggled Borgman (Jan Bijvoet), escapes the attack and shortly after shows up at the door of a wealthy businessman’s house asking for a bath. Though he gets beaten and sent away, he returns and persuades the businessman’s artist wife to let him hide in the garden shed. From there, Borgman reaches out to his network of deadpan evil-doers who show us, once again, that security is an illusion.
At VIFF: Oct. 4, 11:30 pm, Rio; Oct. 5, 3:45 pm, Rio