Note: The headline image from this post was removed due to Google Adsense violations. Although no nudity was present, it was deemed too provocative so we had to take it down. Sorry!
This week in the grindhouse we’ll be taking a look at the 1971 Swedish exploitation flick Exponerad AKA Exposed AKA Diary of a Rape AKA The Depraved– with a bevy of title changes you know this one will be something to behold. Gustav Wiklund, who is better known for his acting in Sweden, directs the film, and Christina Lindberg, the Swedish exploitation goddess, stars. While the content of the film itself amounts to little more than the nasty sex flicks Lindberg was known for during the time, the presentation of this film was much more artfully done. Some sources also state that this premiered at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, however I found no proof backing that up.
In Exponerad, Christina Lindberg plays Lena, a naïve young girl roped into an abusive relationship with a man named Jan, who exploits her in nearly every way he can. She eventually escapes his grasp and falls for another man, Helge, but Jan finds her and her past life begins to once again resurface.
The interesting thing is that we’re never really sure if Lena is an unwilling participant in Jan’s games or not. The film frequently jumps to fantasies Lena is having involving being dominated in one way or another. It seems that she’s constantly torn between her safe relationship with Helge, and the drug-fuelled, orgy-having relationship with Jan.
To complicate things further, the film also jumps forward and back in time. This non-linear structure confuses Lena’s state of mind even more, leaving it up to the viewer to draw their own conclusions about her feelings. It’s this element that elevates the film from just another exploitation film to something more contemplative.
Lindberg’s performance is the driving force behind Exponerad, with everyone else feeling stiff and slightly odd. Heinz Hopf’s role as Helge felt particularly weird, with multiple shots focusing in on his face while having this incredibly dumb look on him. This caused a few bits of unintentional comedy, but not enough to really bring the film down too much.
Like The Night Porter, or how I expect Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac to be, Exponerad is a film that straddles the line between exploitation and arthouse. It’s a lot deeper than your typical rape revenge film of the ‘70s, but there’s still plenty of gratuitous sex to keep lonely men excited.