SEVEN DUMPSTERS AND A CORPSE (Thomas Haemmerli, Switzerland). 81 minutes. Subtitled. Wednesday (April 25), 9:30 pm, Royal; April 27, 11:30 pm, Bloor. Rating: NNNNN Rating: NNNNN
When filmmaker Thomas Haemmerli finds out about his mother's death on his 40th birthday, he and his brother set out to clean out her massively cluttered apartment, which includes stray cats, old home movies and stains from her decomposed body.
Haemmerli, a TV reporter, hopes that by using journalistic techniques he can find out what kind of person lived there, and that cold detachment and mordant humour is fascinating to observe.
What he uncovers is a complicated web of domestic melodrama that goes back generations and travels from Germany to France to Greece. It's not easy viewing, but it's as compelling and cathartic as watching an ancient tragedy unfold.