Willem Dafoe reunites with director Abel Ferrara in the psychological thriller Siberia from Vertical Entertainment. Partially inspired by Carl Jung’s The Red Book, Siberia introduces the audience to Clint (Dafoe), an English speaker who has abandoned his former life and now runs a bar in Siberia. Unfortunately, most of the guests do not speak English. Not to mention, he suffers from hallucinations and embarks on a dog-sled journey to a nearby cave, where he confronts his dreams and memories of his father, brother, former wife, and son, trying to make sense of his life.
One of the first things I must point out about Siberia is that the film is not mainstream. Those familiar with the filmographies of Dafoe and Ferrara should not be surprised, in any case. Siberia marks the seventh time that the duo has worked together, so I am sure they enjoy each other’s artistic styles. I was not familiar with the source material, but I will point out that Siberia is a film for thinkers. The narrative structure taken by Ferrara is one of conventionalism. Thus, the film is structured with a brutal sense of ellipsis. There is a more mainstream film in here somewhere. I mean, look how simple this logline is. “A mysterious bar owner confronts himself and his past, his parents and his ex-wife, witches and shamans on a sled ride (those terrifying canines!).”
However, we soon learn that it is a descent into hell, including cliffs and endless nights, flashbacks that are not such and delusional fantasies, religion, and anthropology. It is not, as you can see, a dish for all tastes. However, those who decide to enter the game may not want to leave it. Despite the film’s plot or what may seem to be, it is true to the life of some now. In the end, Siberia is an intense and personal cinema experience.
In short, Siberia is a film you will like or you will not. I still do not know how I particularly feel about the film personally. However, Dafoe is still a top-notch actor who can make the most confusing flick worth watching.
Final Grade: C+
Siberia is available On Demand. In addition, the film can be purchased on DVD and Blu Ray.