Pendance Film Festival 2020: Our Review of ‘Cook F**k Kill’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, Pendance 2020, Theatrical by - February 20, 2020
Pendance Film Festival 2020: Our Review of ‘Cook F**k Kill’

About as confrontational as you’d expect a film with the title Cook F**k Kill to be, Czech director Mira Fornay’s third feature is a teasing absurdist drama that aims to dig into the rotten core of contemporary Eastern European domesticity. The array of bizarre antics and sudden violent outbursts on display can be alternately shocking, puzzling and even downright exhausting. But it all makes for an experience that is no doubt hard to shake.

Apparently inspired by almost two years of research within prisons, Fornay has stated that she has created an “imaginary parallel world” where the audience can “see through unconscious connections, instead of through the logic of social norms.”

So here we have the fractured story of Jaroslav K. (played by a perfectly frantic Jaroslav Plesl, one of the Czech Republic’s leading screen actors), a harried husband, father and son. Jaroslav just wants to see his kids who are being hidden away at his grandmother’s house by the wife who hates him. She’ll let him in if he can get his mother to give them her apartment. But she will only give up the apartment if his estranged father will cook for everyone… and so on and so on, with each new person introducing their own stipulation to send Jaroslav down a never-ending rabbit hole of impossible requests.

And this just scratches the surface of the surreal structure of Fornay’s film, as the narrative restarts and loops back in on itself, while constantly bringing even stranger side characters out of the woods. You may not totally get what’s going on half the time. But Cook F**k Kill gives you a mental workout for the ages while pushing the horrific realities of everyday domestic violence to the forefront. Proceed with caution – and I mean that in the best way.

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After his childhood dream of playing for the Mighty Ducks fell through, Mark turned his focus to the glitz and glamour of the movies. He's covered the extensive Toronto film scene for online outlets and is a filmmaker himself, currently putting the final touches on a low-budget (okay, no-budget) short film to be released in the near future. You can also find him behind the counter as product manager of Toronto's venerable film institution, Bay Street Video.
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