Films 2023


95 min.
Year of Production:
United Kingdom, USA
Jesse Eisenberg
Adrien Brody
Odessa Young
Sallieu Sesay
Phil Ettinger
Ethan Suplee
Evan Joningkeit
Caleb Eberhardt
Gheorghe Murensan
Production Company:
Liminal Content, Felix Culpa
Berlinale Section:
Berlinale Category:
Feature Film

Ralphie is young and healthy and his girlfriend is pregnant. Yet things do not feel quite right. His job as an Uber driver is neither gratifying nor financially secure. His relationship with his body may also be built on shaky foundations. When he is inducted into a libertarian masculinity cult, the tensions that have been growing inside him surface. Ralphie begins to lose his grip on reality. In his previous film, The Wound, South African filmmaker John Trengove explored how a male rite of passage unleashed repressed feelings with the same potential for danger as opening a pressure cooker. A similar force is at work inside the protagonist of Manodrome, in whom Trengove observes a disturbing phenomenon from an original angle. Ralphie is not the stereotype that springs to mind when thinking of groups formed around fervent misogyny such as the infamous “incels”, and his character helps us to deepen our understanding of what male fragility can entail. In spite of the dark implications of its premise, this film is not devoid of humour. However,the skillful way in which the tension builds and powerful performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Adrien Brody leave the viewer truly shaken.

FILMOGRAFIE John Trengove (selection)

2023 Manodrome 

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