It’s 1933 and the industrialist Essenbeck family must do business with the newly elected Nazi government. Its patriarch, Baron Joachim von Essenbeck, replaces the business’ anti-Nazi vice president and the already dysfunctional family falls further into chaos.
BAFTA winner, Dirk Bogarde (The Servant) and frequent Ingmar Bergman collaborator, Ingrid Thulin, star as power-hungry and conniving lovers with ambitions to take over the family business, as Hitler tightens his grip on Germany and threatens the future of the factory. Meanwhile, Baron Joachim’s seemingly naïve but utterly deranged grandson, Martin, has plans of his own – played by Helmut Berger in a role which would earn him a Golden Globe nomination.
Loosely based on the Krupp family, who would later be convicted of war crimes for their factory’s collaboration with the Nazi government, The Damned is a thrillingly debauched exploration of bourgeois power during pre-Second World War Germany, complete with sex, violence, decadence and degradation.
Content Guidance: the film is not graphic but contains some violence and implied paedophilia and incest.
The film is presented by Pervert Pictures and will begin with a short introduction.
Pervert Pictures is a Leeds-based film club for lovers of the erotic, the disturbing and the provocative, which aims to create a safe and social environment for the viewing of explicit and challenging films.
“The Damned may be the chef d'oeuvre of the great Italian director.....a spectacle of such greedy passion, such uncompromising sensation and such obscene shock that it makes you realize how small and safe and ordinary most movies are.”The Times (1969)
“The heightened performances and Visconti’s luridly expressionistic use of Technicolor conjure a garish world of decaying opulence in which one family’s downfall comes to stand for the moral rot of a nation.”The Criterion Collection