The Book of Revelation (18)

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The Independent Culture

As psychosexual mystery stories go, this one takes some swallowing. Daniel (Tom Long), the star of a Melbourne dance troupe, goes out to buy cigarettes for his girlfriend during rehearsals – and fails to return. As the tale unfolds, we discover that he has been kidnapped and subjected to 12 days of bizarre sexual abuse – the twist being that the perpetrators are a trio of black-clad women, like the witches in Macbeth. On being released, he reports his ordeal at the police station: "Lucky bastard," replies the copper.

Long is required to do quite a lot of "haunted" looks, while his dance mentor (Greta Scacchi) and a sympathetic policeman (Colin Friels) try to help him through the post-abduction stress. It's a sincerely felt movie (adapted from a Rupert Thomson novel) and quite decently acted, but it suffers from the irresolvable flaw of being completely unrealistic. This is not to question the likelihood of male rape – merely this particular portrayal of it.

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