Savor the Graphic Sexual Experimentation of Wetlands

Savor the Graphic Sexual Experimentation of Wetlands

Girls behave very, very grossly in Wetlands, a German coming-of-age saga doused in blood, spit, and more sexually explicit excretions.

David Wnendt's adaptation of Charlotte Roche's 2008 novel is an aesthetically amped-up affair, full of segmented screens, oversaturated colors, trippy special effects, and drugged-out flashbacks and dream sequences that embellish the story of Helen (Carla Juri) and her "living-pussy-hygiene experiment."

That ongoing research involves wiping her genitals on dirty toilet seats, sharing homemade tampons with her boarding-school best friend Corinna (Marlen Kruse), and crudely shaving her hemorrhoids — the last of which lands her in the hospital, where surgery is soon required to remove part of her anus.


Directed by David Wnendt
Strand Releasing
Opens September 5, Angelika Film Center

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Stuck in bed, Helen attempts to woo a nurse named Robin (Christoph Letkowski) with raunchy tales of whores and mass pizzaman masturbation — all of it visualized in over-the-top graphic fashion by Wnendt — while also trying, through her infirm circumstances, to reunite her divorced parents (Meret Becker and Axel Milberg).

This last aim makes clear that Helen's extreme behavior is at once a reaction to, and rebellion against, her mother and father (and their separation), which, along with a captivating go-for-broke lead turn by Juri, lends the film a poignancy to help offset the juvenile shock-tactic impulses.

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