Straw Dogs (1971)

"One of the most ambiguous, neurotic, and disturbing of all American films"

Straw Dogs was cut by US censors, it was banned in the UK on original release. Even most home video releases have been of edited versions of the feature.  
In this thriller, Sam Peckinpah’s most controversial film, David (Dustin Hoffman), a young American mathematician, moves with his English wife, Amy (Susan George), to the village where she grew up. Their sense of safety unravels as the local men David has hired to repair their house prove more interested in leering at Amy and intimidating David, beginning an agonizing initiation into the iron laws of violent masculinity that govern Peckinpah’s world. Shortly after they found their cat hanging in the closet.
An adaptation of Gordon Williams’ novel The Siege of Trencher’s Farm, Peckinpah took the story and made it his own, delivering a controversial feature that stirs as much debate today.

At its core, it examines concepts of masculinity, of sex and baser instincts punching through the thin veneer that is civilization. David and Amy’s relationship are central to these events. It’s a marriage on the wane, an obvious incompatibility. 

It’s a part of  man's nature to challenge others, to vie with the strong for dominance, or to stamp over the weak. David’s pacifism, his inability to meet the escalating challenges to his authority, invite even more aggression from the men, fueled by the sexual energy stemming from his wife’s vivacious nature, as well as her history with one of the men in the group.

Straw Dogs holds your gaze, no matter how hard you want to look away.

"Straw Dogs’ most infamous scene involves Amy’s rape at the hands of both Charlie and one of his cohorts, and only a director like Peckinpah would have the gall to show Amy as not only somewhat responsible for this crime but also partially enjoying the act of violence. The scene has long been condemned as proof of Peckinpah’s misogyny"

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