Caniba (2018)



Critic Consensus: In terms of form as well as content, Caniba is decidedly not for everyone, but its story - and the questions it poses - are hard to ignore.

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A new documentary from the pioneering filmmakers behind Leviathan, Caniba reflects on the discomfiting significance of cannibalistic desire in human existence through the prism of one Japanese man, Issei Sagawa, and his mysterious relationship with his brother, Jun Sagawa. As a 32-year-old student at the Sorbonne in Paris, Issei Sagawa was arrested on June 13, 1981 when spotted emptying two bloody suitcases containing the remains of his Dutch classmate, Renée Hartevelt. Two days earlier, Mr. Sagawa had killed Hartevelt and began eating her. Declared legally insane, he returned to Japan. He has been a free man ever since. Ostracized from society, he has made his living off his crime by writing novels, drawing manga, appearing in innumerable documentaries and sexploitation films in which he reenacts his crime, and even becoming a food critic.


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Critic Reviews for Caniba

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (7)

"I can't stomach this anymore," Jun eventually remarks, as his brother pages through his illustrated confession. That makes all of us.

October 21, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Caniba features no explanatory text or outside voices of any kind.

October 19, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

I consider Sagawa repellent, and the movie an exercise in intellectualized scab-picking.

October 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Lurid to an almost farcical degree.

August 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Caniba is no Leviathan, but there is something undeniably fascinating at work.

October 16, 2017 | Full Review…

Makes a proud point of its unpleasantness.

September 19, 2017 | Full Review…
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