Plucked from one of the surprisingly many reviews:
"Practically unreleasable in its current state, A Serbian Film
feels like a giant, screaming exclamation point of a film - - from a
nation that rarely produces films at all. I think the film is tragic,
sick...ening, disturbing, twisted, absurd, infuriated, and actually quite
intelligent. There are those who will be unable (or unwilling) to
decipher even the most basic of "messages": buried within A Serbian Film, but I believe it's one of the most legitimately fascinating films I've ever seen. I admire and detest it at the same time.
And I will never watch it again. Ever."
It's a film rife with metaphor, that almost can't fail to have an impact on the viewer.
The origin of the film is that the guy making it was always trying to make films in Serbia, but he could only ever make "Serbian films". Films about the conflict there, focusing on the tragedy. He could never make the film he wanted, so he made the film they had always been forcing him to make.
But instead of a sanitised film on the tragedy of war, he created something that really shows you the root of the conflict. He shows you the horrors men make other men do. And in doing it, he shows you the exploitation of the only films they ever allow people to make.
The horrifying scenes shock people to such an extent, you often can't see past it to the real meaning of the film. Even when he's got characters screaming lines like "can it be you still don't get it?!"
He shows people creating films of exploitation, exploiting people being forced and coerced into horrific acts, drawing an analogy to the acts performed in the conflict itself.
And the whole thing works so perfectly. Even on its tiny budget, the acting is magnificent. Milosc draws you in as a character, and the whole film rests on him, but it just works so well.
It's also got the strongest scenes of any film I've ever seen. It's worse than the guinea pig films, martyrs, or just about anything else (except perhaps august underground)
I left a copy to a friend. Despite repeated extremely clear warnings from me, he decided to watch it with his girlfriend.
He came back to me with one of my favourite quotes ever.
"I watched about half of it. Then I turned it off. Then I wondered for a while if you were in some sort of 'ring'."