Clean, Shaven (1993)

Clean, Shaven (1993)

A schizophrenic man’s parental capability is put to test amidst a murder investigation

The Very Best

8.4

Movie

United States of America
English
Crime, Drama, Thriller
1993
LODGE KERRIGAN
Eliot Rockett, Ismael Ramirez, J. Dixon Byrne
79 min

What it's about

Peter Winter is a young schizophrenic who is desperately trying to get his daughter back from her adoptive family. He attempts to function in a world that, for him, is filled with strange voices, electrical noise, disconcerting images, and jarringly sudden emotional shifts. During his quest, he runs afoul of the law and an ongoing murder investigation.

The take

How do you get rid of an irremovable stain? In Lodge Kerrigan’s psychological thriller, characters shave the dirt off in hopes of returning things to their original pristine state. In the process of doing so, however, permanent damage is incurred, which begs the question: is the eradication of filth correspond to cleansing?

Through erratic editing and an unsettling sound design, not only does Clean, Shaven put its audience in the disturbed mind of the protagonist Peter Winter, it also effectively depicts his struggle (and inability) to retain sanity amidst a prejudiced society. The film contrasts post-Cold War paranoia with the nobility of paternal love, and finds tragedy in Peter’s futile attempts to prove his “cleanliness” in a world intent to brand him as dirty.

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