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Recent events exposing the treatment and exploitation of entertainment performers, more commonly observed in the abuse of women, have stirred controversy in the media. Many have voiced concerns regarding veiled practices in Hollywood that have gone undetected. Yet as finger pointing and seeking accountability continues to plague the Internet, the core of the problem still remains unscathed. What can be done to create a safe environment for performers/entertainers in Hollywood?

Meanwhile these questions have riddled the contours within the space between my ears, I came across a Spanish movie by the name El Cadaver de Anna Fritz (The Corpse of Anna Fritz). Although Anna Fritz is unrelated to the current issues regarding abuse towards women in Hollywood, there are some interesting similarities and themes that reflect these real life concerns.

A person’s willingness to accept liability can at many times paint a blurry portrait between right and wrong; especially in the face of consequences, this can very much change the quality of one’s decision making. In El Cadaver de Anna Fritz, a young actress inexplicably dies during a party. As the actress, Anna Fritz, is sent to the morgue for further processing, a young orderly named Pau handles her corpse. Eager to have the beautiful and beloved young actress at his disposal, Pau invites a few friends to the morgue for an intimate evening with Anna. “I bet you took a peek, pervert[1]” says a friend to Pau.

A lifeless form bound to the perverse acts of three young friends, Anna Fritz’s corpse represents an unattainable beauty farther than Pau, or any of his friends, could ever reach. Presenting an opportunity to “attain” her, as long as she is dead, their actions will hold no consequences. She was the beautiful actress they could never have, until now. Seemingly, their lust for Anna soon turns to shame, as the situation unravels a disturbing revelation. Their thoughtless, impulsive actions quickly render them powerless.

Themes in El Cadaver de Anna Fritz that reflect the urgent concerns within Hollywood are the abuse of power, and how aggressors manage to evade accountability and punishment. Pau and his friends were willing to do the unthinkable, without a second thought on how their actions could weigh any implications. Just as the recent events reveal people in power turning their lustful exploits into shameful acts, simply because their actions were uncovered, Pau and his friends fall victim to their decisions. A sense of panic emerged once they realized they were no longer in control.

A thriller in its own right, El Cadaver de Anna Fritz stirs deeply and forces us all to examine these blaring issues. The beginning surprised me. The middle of the film surprised me. The ending left me speechless. If you don’t mind subtitles, this Spanish film will leave you thinking.

Thanks.

Matthew.

[1] Quote taken from El Cadaver de Anna Fritz has been censored.

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