Physical impact trumps psychological depth in this brutally honest acid attack drama with a surplus of style
Dirty God makes its point from the off. A roaming montage of close-ups uncovers, piece by piece, a mosaic of scarred skin. High in the soundtrack, Sevdaliza's Human intones: “I am flesh, bones / I am skin, soul.” Abstract images cohere and we meet Jade, a young woman being discharged from hospital after a brutal acid attack. This is a world where what’s on the outside counts.
Jade’s rehabilitation is defined by this. She has a daughter to raise and trauma to process, but she diverges from the conventional to pursue a path to the flesh. Seeking the liberation of sex and scratching at the frustrations imposed by her body, she is desperate to recover her social life, cycling all the while through states of anger and shame.
Her attempts and failures hit with visceral force, and Dirty God is successful in presenting rarely seen desires without judgement or artifice. But there are compromises as a result of a fixation with the surface. There’s plenty of flesh, skin and bones, but it comes at the expense of some soul.
Released 7 Jun by Modern Film