The Tin Drum

D: Volker Schlöndorff 
Artemis/Hallelujah Argos (Franz Seitz & Anatole Dauman)
West Germany/Poland/France 1979
142 mins


W: Franz Seitz, Volker Schlöndorff, Jean-Claude Carriere & Günter Grass [based on the novel by Günter Grass]
DP: Igor Luther
Ed: Suzanne Baron
Mus: Maurice Jarre

David Bennett (Oskar Matzerath), Angela Winkler (Agnes Matzerath), Mario Adorf (Alfred Matzerath), Daniel Olbrychski (Jan Bronski), Katharina Thalbach (Maria), Charles Aznavour (Sigusmund Markus)

The Tin Drum is an equally intelligent, visceral and disturbing piece of filmmaking, based on a book deemed "unfilmable", and from the subject material it's very easy to see why.
Oskar Matzerath is the omniscient child at the centre of the story who, on his third birthday, becomes fed up with the hypocritical behaviour of the adults who surround him, including his mother who is embarking on an affair with his uncle. He receives a tin drum as a present and decides he doesn't want to grow any older, which he achieves by feigning an accident which stunts his growth.
Forever resembling a child as World War II and the fascist nazi regime begins to emerge around him, he manages his perception of the world around him by banging his own beat on his toy drum and reacting to unwanted authority with a glass-shattering shriek.
The story, full of allegory and metaphor, certainly won't be for everyone, especially in the more disturbing scenes where Oskar embarks on a sexual relationship with a teenage prostitute, which have been (unfairly) compared to child pornography (there's no nudity, but the references are still powerfully difficult to watch).
A genuine oddity of foreign language art-house cinema, featuring an irrational character as the principal focus and main voice of reason during a dark period of human history. 
Though portraying a three year old, David Bennett was actually 12-years-old at the time of production, but still manages to convince on all levels, especially during the scenes where his face is etched in horror at the haunting events that surround him.

David Bennett in The Tin Drum
David Bennett in The Tin Drum