A young woman enters a disgusting public restroom, rubs her genitals on a dirty toilet seat, and announces her mission to be a “living pussy hygiene experiment.” Meet Helen, a rebellious 17-year-old obsessed with bodily fluids. Raised by a germaphobic mother, she has decided to embrace a fetish of filth by masturbating with food, swapping used tampons with her best friend, building up her natural “flora,” and collecting sperm samples from random men.
“Bracing and hysterical … the most WTF, NSFW movie at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.” – Adam B. Vary, BuzzFeed
One day she develops a painful anal fissure while shaving, leading to an extended hospital stay where Helen crushes on a handsome male nurse while also devising a plan to reunite her separated parents. Based on the controversial bestselling novel by Charlotte Roche, Wetlands is vulgar, rude, and often gleefully disgusting, but that is the point. It is a celebration of breaking female taboos, anchored by a fierce and ebullient performance by Carla Juri, whose firecracker persona hides a vulnerable and sensitive young woman coming to terms with her past. Director David Wnendt’s striking visual style takes cues from Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting and combines it with a guileless eroticism. For a film featuring an unspeakable operatic moment involving a group of men and a pizza, Wetlands is not only surprisingly beautiful to look at, but filled with humor, pathos, and…yes, a whole lot of bodily fluids. (Dir. by David Wnendt, 2013, Germany, in German with subtitles, 105 mins., Not Rated)