Christina’s review published on Letterboxd:
Gummo is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Harmony Korine, starring Jacob Reynolds, Nick Sutton, Jacob Sewell, and Chloë Sevigny. The film is set but was not filmed in Xenia, Ohio, a Midwestern American town that had been previously struck by a devastating tornado. The loose narrative follows several main characters who find odd and destructive ways to pass time, interrupted by vignettes depicting other inhabitants of the town.
Now, do I like Gummo? The short answer to that question is ‘no.’ It would, however, be carelessly neglectful of me to toss this movie aside and not pay some credit to its ingenious. This film is more-or-less a perverse immersion amongst a community of people that could be described as plight central; the characters are as seemingly removed from reality as they are authentic In that the aversive elements they are affected by - poverty, abuse, trauma, etc - does have some real world applications. Amongst the chaos and confusion (Because, honestly, this is really a snapshot in to the lives of people living in squander, as opposed to a complete story with a clear beginning, middle, and conclusion) ‘Gummo’ Is still careful to give its audience bits and pieces of information that provide some meaningful context to the overarching plot.
Gummo, in short, is a trainwreck that can't be looked away from despite being paired with imagery that is uncomfortable; honestly, there are parts of this film that make me want to vomit the moment I think of them. With that said, ‘Gummo’ is a scab of curiosity that one can't help but pick at even if it is only done one agonizing moment at a time. The eye-sore will fester soon after the visual experience is over, and will infect parts of the mind previously assumed to be invulnerable or inaccessible.
Equal parts grotesque and alluring;
‘Gummo’ is made for those gluttonous for punishment -
And hence my recommendation.