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Freaks the absolute originality of Tod Browning lies in having brought to the screen – with his already proven quality as a Freaks self-made filmmaker, fulfilling the ladder – these beings considered less than human, perhaps a little more than animals, labeled as monsters in every sense by the collective gaze, except for exceptions (among which the enormous writer Victor Hugo can be cited in his compassionate, philosophical novels Nôtre-Dame de Paris or in The Man Who Laughs); these socially excluded whom, as characters, he treats as equals, he films them with respect, free from all forms of voyeurism, without morbid gloating. Throughout his film, Browning never places them in the gallery where they are exhibited or on the track where some offer their skills but in actions of everyday life, generally in the corridors between wagons, talking, eating, drinking, smoking , having romances and even – case of the bearded woman – after giving birth to a child.

The director approaches them precisely as neighbors, always naturally, without paternalism, with empathy and -when it comes to the case- with a subtle sense of humor (the Siamese women with their respective boyfriends; the hermaphrodite whose female half flirts with the strong “normal While the male part hates it). Nor are the freaks beatified in this film: beings marginalized by society, outside the rules of the “normals” – who have segregated, controlled, exploited – have created, something typical of minorities, their own codes: they can cross the borders of the forbidden, do justice by one’s own hand and be excessive, atrocious in the most radical revenge towards its despicable offenders, the upper class – in more ways than one – of this film made in the middle of the Great Depression.

Duration: 105 min


IMDb: 6.7