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Old 07-02-2012, 02:04 PM
9,200 posts, read 17,281,425 times
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I was just thinking about this recently. There are some movies that take place in settings (time, place, and circumstances) that are so depressing that it can actually affect my mood and how I'm feeling that day. Sometimes the movie has some uplifting ending, where someone overcomes that horrible setting, but often that doesn't even take away from the emotional effect I feel. Anyone else have examples of this?

Note: it has to be a real-world setting, in the present day or the past. No post-apocalyptic futuristic settings. No Waterworld, no Mad Max, etc. Yes, The Road took place in a horribly bleak, dark, cold, dangerous world, but that's for another thread. No sci-fi or other planets.

The first time I noticed this was when I was a teenager, and this movie The Legend of Billie Jean came on almost every day on HBO. I don't even need to get into the storyline, but the setting was so depressing, I said over and over "If I grew up there, I'd just kill myself." It was some place near Corpus Christi Texas (it means "Christ's body" so it was destined to be depressing). The weather in the movie was so hot and sticky, and the teenagers lived in some horrible disgusting trailer park. That setting, on top of the story (in which everyone wanted to sexually harrass and rape the star of the movie) made me want to slit my throat.

Then I experienced this again watching Ghandi. Wonderful movie, wonderful acting, wonderful true story. But the settings were so terribly depressing, again, I wondered how anyone could live there. I pretty much decided that with the heat, bright sun, desert-dryness and inter-racial cruelty, I would never want to see South Africa. Sure there might be some pretty places there, but no way. Then we go to India. Again, hot, humid, everyone is starving, sweating, dying of diseases. Even in the beautiful villas of the rich people, you could almost smell the festering death outside as people rotted away in the oppressive heat. Apart from everything political that happened in that story, I thought Ghandi being able to survive in that setting, and still care enough and have strength enough to change his whole country (and even the world) made him super-human. All I'd be thinking is "damn it's hot, damn, it stinks, and damn, I'm hungry!"

Holocaust movies are easy to toss into this category. Any movies protraying concentration camps make me feel physically ill, and I wonder how anyone could survive, or would even want to survive.

Then there's a less-tragic movie setting that is not bad at all compared with holocaust movies, but depressed me nonetheless. Boys Don't Cry. Again, true story, horrible things happened to this transgendered teen who was eventually murdered. But aside from the whole story, the places they lived were so depressing, I think if I were in those circumstances, I'd have to run away or lie down and die. This kid is poor, a high-school drop-out, wanders from place to place, crashes with some single mom living in a run-down shack with her baby, hangs out with convicted felons who are simply despicable people, hangs out with clueless girls who are also drop-outs going nowhere working in a disgusting factory, and the best, most fun thing they can find to do is sing karaoke in a dive bar. Even without the torture, rape, and murder the kid went through he (she) was already in circumstances that would make me just not want to live.

How about more movies with settings (time, place, circumstances) that can make you want to shoot* yourself?

(*figuratively, of course, don't jump all over me for triviliazing suicide, etc, etc)
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:07 PM
9,200 posts, read 17,281,425 times
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Ah, just thought of another: Trainspotting. Made me decide to never try heroin, and that if someone accidently dies the first time they try heroin, they're better off.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:40 PM
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 21,051,932 times
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A Clockwork Orange

Two of the most depressing movies I have ever seen...
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:55 PM
9,200 posts, read 17,281,425 times
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But Clockwork Orange is in a dystopian future. Totally agree on Trainspotting.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:44 PM
Location: Brooklyn,NY
10,041 posts, read 11,778,274 times
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Default The Road.

Grey skies, Planet devoid of plants and animals and cannibalism for those left remaining.-Not to mention a slow death from the ash floating in the air either way. And no word why civilization was destroyed. Or who and what caused it. the scene where the main character's wife walks out the front door to her death because there was nothing left was hard to watch.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:46 PM
Location: Baker City, Oregon
3,318 posts, read 5,301,312 times
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Without a doubt, The Road.

The Road - Official Trailer [HD] - YouTube
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:57 PM
Location: The Midst of Insanity
3,225 posts, read 5,969,453 times
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LOL people really don't read threads. I thought the OP wanted non-apocolyptic/non-futuristic (and specifically said not the Road)?

My vote goes to Lilya 4-Ever. A young girl in Estonia is abandoned by her mother and has to prostitute herself so she can buy food. She sniffs glue with her friends (some of who rape her), and meets a man who tricks her into sexual slavery. The poverty, suicide, bleakness, the incredible hopelessness.

Wow I was so depressed after watching it, I was just silent all night.

Agree about Boys Don't Cry.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:00 PM
Location: Baker City, Oregon
3,318 posts, read 5,301,312 times
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Lars von Trier "Melancholia" - Ending scene - YouTube
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:26 PM
Location: New Jersey
461 posts, read 746,969 times
Reputation: 329
Slumdog Millionaire was depressing to me. Not only do you see kids growing up in a horrible situations, but it also makes you realize that it most likely does happen.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:18 AM
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
12,568 posts, read 17,766,491 times
Reputation: 13245
Any movie with lots of scenes in a courtroom. Somebody pass the razor blades!
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