Interesting that this film should get a topic all of its own, after we discussed it in another thread a few weeks ago. I guess it’s just one of those films which will always get people talking.
It’s ironic perhaps, but I’m not sure hypocritical is the right word. It’s not exactly commenting on journalism but just putting a magnifying glass to a type of journalism which provides people with shocking images. These forms of journalism are often presented as an ultimate truth, necessary to highlight the plight of certain people and the cruelty and intolerance which exists in the world. However, in addition to such righteous and noble intentions, it fulfills a function by feeding the public’s craving for shocking news media which still exists today.
Basically Cannibal Holocaust does not say that providing people with shocks is wrong or immoral, but it forces you to question the sanctioned shocks which form a significant part of the media. In so doing, if you’re reasonably intelligent and thoughtful, it causes you to consider your reaction to horrific events, both real and unreal.
Because of its subject matter, the scenes of violence and the animal deaths, its a film which can linger in the mind. In this respect it’s a powerful, thought-provoking film. I loved the mondo style of filming and the soundtrack, but I don’t think it’s a work of brilliance (it’s as subtle as a brick). It is, however, most definitely worthy of note for anyone interested in film.
Whatever else it may be, boring it is not.
At the risk of crediting the director with too much intelligence, I don’t think you’re supposed to finish the film thinking you’ve been given a moral. There isn’t a message in that sense; it’s not a film which preaches to the viewer, and if it were to do so then I think it would be quite problematic (hypocritical as poggy said). It presents various attrocities in different ways and it’s up to the viewer to decipher their own response and come to terms with the morality of it all on their own.