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© Baehr, 2016

Release Date: February 11, 1994

Starring: Andrew Robertson, Charlotte
Gainsbourg, Alice Coultard,
Ned Birkin, Sinead Cusack,
Hanns Zischler, & Jochen Horst

Genre: Drama

Audience: Adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 106 minutes

Distributor: October Films

Director: Andrew Birkin

Executive Producer:

Producer: Bee Bilbert & Ene Vanaveski

Writer: Andrew Birkin BASED ON THE
NOVEL BY: Ian McEwan

Address Comments To:


(H, LL, SS, NNN, NA, M) Humanist worldview; 12 obscenities; male masturbation & incest; 3 scenes of full male nudity & 1 scene of female nudity; pagan prayer to the "sandman"; and, cigarette smoking.


THE CEMENT GARDEN is a haunting ballad of undirected and misdirected adolescent sexuality and of a brother and sister caught in the horrifying web of deceit and incest. Although an indictment on both, this well-written, -directed and -acted piece contains graphic portraits of characters with no spiritual guidance, lots of nudity, both naturalistic and in scenes of intercourse and masturbation, foul language and a gruesome storyline and cannot be recommended.


THE CEMENT GARDEN, the latest film by award-winning British director Andrew Birkin, is a haunting ballad of misdirected adolescent sexuality, and an eerie portrait of a boy's search for his sense of self and of a family caught in the horrifying web of deceit and incest. 15-year-old Jack lives with his family in an industrial town in England. His only emotional outlet from his oppressive father is a growing curiosity about his sexuality which includes masturbation, pornography and fantasies about his older sister, Julie. When his mother and father die, he and Julie decide to bury their mother's body in the basement to keep the authorities from taking their two younger siblings. With Jack and Julie acting as mother and father, their unchecked sexual curiosity develops into incest, which is ultimately exposed.

This film is well written, directed and acted. It's subject matter, however, calls for unflattering cinematography and can hardly be called attractive. Mr. Birkin's use of visual imagery is effective, as are the moments of humor. Although with it shows that deviant sexual behavior culminates in the self-destruction, the fact that this film contains objectionable language, nudity in scenes of intercourse and masturbation and a gruesome story, it is not recommended but for moral individuals.

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