What is the purpose of testosterone? That courageous question is the dangerous epicenter of this dramatic film. Jackie, a grown man, who lost his ability to create this hormone as a boy, (in one of the most unbelievable scenes ever recorded on film) struggles his whole life to answer that question. His answer, when it comes quietly in the middle of all the film’s violence is heartbreaking.
So don’t miss it, amidst the cops and robbers, slaughter and better living through chemistry for both animals and humans. You’re on a wild ride though the harshest of all Flemish countrysides. Jackie is in the ‘meat business’. He’s spent his entire life working with animals. Yet he insists on his humanity. ‘I’m not an animal’ he says, though he growls like a caged creature when he tells us his understanding of what he’s missing. The feeling and purpose of testosterone he enunciates as a natural force going down to its root: to protect. Women, children, the life force itself, he knows this first hand from his work raising cattle and butchering. He translates all of his experience into a feeling for protecting a woman, the one who was the first to evoke his sexual awareness before the ‘accident’. Its like watching Brando say, ‘I could have been a contender’.
Jackie longs for his own nature, in a modernity where masculinity has become only an image of violence and bravado and where true earthly pleasure is divorced from the care taking responsibility which is its source. He craves a feeling of that beauty which he cannot produce naturally. So we watch him driven mad to chemically create its possibility amidst loss. All the incredible Writing, Directing, Acting, and Camerawork serve this tragedy, making it an expertly created film, but one of the hardest films to watch. Yet it’s worth seeing. You’ll think a long time about what we’re doing to nature, animals and ourselves.