Sundance Interview: Daniel Grou, Director of 7 Days


The annual success of the Saw films has proven that there’s a huge market out there for torture-porn films, or films whose primary function is to allow viewers to revel in the physical destruction of the human body. But what would happen if you took a torture-porn film, made it using classical filmmaking techniques, populated it with talented actors, used a well-written script, and injected a healthy dose of moral ambiguity into it for good measure? You might get a movie like Daniel Grou’s 7 Days.

7 Days (originally “Les Sept Jours Du Talion”) tells the story of Bruno, a man whose daughter is raped and murdered. Torn apart by grief and burning with rage, Bruno seeks out his daughter’s killer, captures him, and proceeds to torture him over the course of a week, using increasingly brutal methods. The film is graphic and intense, using torture not only as an end in and of itself, but as a way to ask the audience whether or not torture/revenge can ever serve a productive or meaningful purpose. As Bruno’s punishment escalates, he begins to realize the implications of his actions.

I’d recommend 7 Days to anyone who likes movies that are challenging to watch and thought-provoking in nature. It’s a torture-porn film with a brain. Better yet, 7 Days is part of the Sundance Selects program, meaning you can watch the movie on video-on-demand right now. I spoke with director Daniel Grou (AKA Podz) about the process of making 7 Days and about the role of films featuring torture. Hit the jump for the interview.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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