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TIFF 2014 Review: The Underground

Audience members suffering from Katsaridaphobia will be easy to spot at the screening of Canadian actress and director Michelle Latimer’s The Underground, playing as a part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 6. They will be the ones scratching and clawing furiously at their skin, horrified by what they are watching on screen, because The Underground features many shots of cockroaches.

Katsaridaphobia is the fear of cockroaches, but the subtext of the film insinuates that the experience of being an immigrant from Iran (or really, from anywhere in the Middle East) is perhaps more scary, more unsettling, than that of being a cockroach.

Not so much based on author Rawi Hage’s 300 page book, so much as ‘inspired’ by it, Latimer provides impressive shots from a bug’s eye view, and the title of The Underground is brought to light, in this strange, almost absurdly funny short film. Just try not to bug out.

[star v=35]