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From Ari Aster, the director of last year's Hereditary, which made my Best of 2018 list.  I don't foresee this one making my 2019 list; while I can't deny Aster and his cinematographer's craft, I found the violence too distressingly graphic here.

What I find interesting in Aster's two-film oeuvre so far is the commonality of horrific family trauma and ritual.  In Hereditary, the ritualistic trauma occurs within the family; while in Midsommar, it occurs without, and is an effort by the protagonist to give meaning to a shattered life.  Either way, it seems pretty clear that Aster is not a fan of the exclusionary, violent, us vs them dichotomies that are a feature of pretty much every religion.  And from the recent NY Times interview with the director, he clearly is using his films to work through his own family trauma.

My friend Sid wrote the review of Midsommar for my page, and it's a good 'un: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/07/2814/

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