Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chi l'ha vista morire? (Who Saw Her Die?)


(1972)***

The picture opens in 1968 France where we find a little girl sledding with her mother. When the child gets ahead of her mother she is abducted, murdered, and quickly buried in the snow by a mysterious person wearing a black veil. The case is never solved. Fast-forward four years later where we find another little girl, Roberta, visiting her father, Franco, a famous sculptor, in France. Pre-occupied with banging his mistress, Franco is oblivious to the fact that someone wearing a black veil has made several attempts on Roberta’s life. When Franco essentially leaves his daughter in a random street with a group of children to have more sex, Roberta is ultimately murdered. The rest of the film concerns Franco’s quest to uncover the identity of his daughter’s murderer.



Franco’s investigation takes many twists and turns and a number of likely suspects pass in and out of the story. Ultimately his search takes him to a mysterious underground cult with a predilection for sadomasochism and pedophilia. As the list of suspects narrows, Franco begins to fear that his own life is in danger.


Daughter? What daughter? Oh yeah...

Who Saw Her Die is a slow build and at times reminded me of Don’t Look Now with echoes of Eyes Wide Shut. The story was interesting, yet ultimately unrealistic. Perhaps parenting was a bit looser in the early 1970s, but Franco’s irresponsible parenting (e.g., leaving his 9-year old alone on the streets of a foreign country) required great suspension of disbelief. Whirlygirl will attest that I often yelled at the television in annoyance. Also, although I can handle almost anything on the silver screen (except musicals), yet I have great difficulty watching films about pedophilia or the abduction/murder of a young child. People always laud Happiness as a sympathetic portrait of a pedophile yet all I wanted to do was strangle the asshole. Come to think of it, I’ve despised every film ever directed by Todd Solondz. I know I wouldn’t leave my kid with him.


I’m a creepy film director.

1 comment:

Whirlygirl said...

Nice review! I'm glad you didn't give the ending away in case I finish watching this one someday. I started to lose interest, which is why I fell asleep. It was bit too slow moving for me, and the father wasn't captivating enough to hold my interest. I was going to finish it, but too much time past that I felt I would have to start from the beginning to refresh my mind, but the thought of it made me snore. I do remember the cinematography being pretty good, and Morricone's score was fantastically creepy at times.

The film did have potential and so I think I will give director Aldo Lado one more chance next Horrothon. I had a different film of his on my Netflix queue that sounded interesting, but I changed it to this one at the last moment.