“The Cannibals” is based on “Antigone” by Sophocles and discovers in this play the potential of being a dystopia of life in Western societies (instead narrating the past the film addresses future of democratic societies). The axis of Cavani’s research is the encounter between the despotic rulers and rebellious youth. The decree is that when secret service agents are shooting people right on the street and leaving corpses right there, nobody has a right to touch the corpses (wish to bury them). Antigone finds it difficult to resist the compassion for killed people. And she is immediately in danger. What is particularly interested Cavani is intellectual aspect of the clash between adult experienced males ruling the country (and professionals hired by them) and the idealistic, emotional and intellectually awkward young people.

The manipulators/decision makers invents absurd decree that confuses and distracts people from real protest – the destiny of the corpses is of secondary importance in comparison with the government’s unconditional right to shoot people on the street or damp there the bodies of the “rebels”. Why the young people are not questioning the right to shoot people and only defend the right to bury corpses? Why they don’t question the legitimacy of killing, but only the legitimacy of leaving corpses without care? Young people are rebellious but in the same time they are seduced, touched, squeezed and deformed by conformism. The film is full of soldiers following governmental order to arrest everybody who’ll try to take away corpses. But Tiresia (Pierre Clementi’s character) tries to do more than just to bury – he tries to resuscitate and even feed corpses probably because for him it’s not just – not to share with corpses the benefits of being alive. For him it would be inequality, injustice and inhumanity.

In Cavani’s film the absurd impregnates horror, and the rebellion of the youth is rooted not only in grotesque and surreal. What Cavani tries to say by this multi-knotted semantics and style? According to Cavani’s film, the oppressors are winning because they wittily distract people from real protest. Young people react on the fact that something is forbidden with instinctive energy to challenge the act of forbiddance – the mind of the young is reactive: it is dependent on what is forbidden instead of addressing the general situation. Youth is conformist in the very moment of being rebellious, and stupid in the same moment they think hard. It’s not surprising – they are not systematically liberally educated yet, and oppressors easily outsmart them.

“The Cannibals” deserves mass attention – it can help today’s youth to figure out what’s really happening with their lives and what exactly is the strategy of their manipulators – the country’s decision makers. The film can reignite American public discussion about war, rebellion and manipulation of population by the power elite.

We see military recruiting center, a detention center with psychiatric approach to inmate/patients, an institution for helping the homeless by enforcing obedience and conformism. We see high-tech equipment for psychological assessment of main characters of the film. Cavani depicts high-tech totalitarianism under the mask of high-tech democratic care about those who are lost their way.