Set in the near future, Nikos Nikolaidis' The Zero Years is about a brothel that specializes is sexual pleasure of the sadomasochistic variety. The woman have been sterilized and are under constant surveillance, serving their term in this government-run establishment. Their jobs are simple, inflict as much pain and pleasure as possible on their customers. When a new woman arrives to begin work at the brothel, she quickly becomes attached to the three other women who work there. Anyone familiar with Niko Nikolaidis' films knows what to expect from The Zero Years - a provocative and complex film that is both hard to interpret nor forget. While extremely low-budget, the film does a nice job at creating this desolate world using claustrophobic ambiance and harsh tones to convey this world of despair. These are woman who are completely at the whims of the government even to the point of being sterilized. They are living in a world of oppression both mentally and physically yet they still show some form of hope, most notably centered around their dream of having a child. The Zero Years is certainly a challenging film but its political and social messages are certain to resonate with most of the viewers. By the end of the film it's clear that these woman could have escaped the brothel yet they don't. They choose to stay in this hellish institution because they have been overcome by "institutionalism". It's hell but the woman know what is expected of them and it's better than the uncertainty of the outside world, whether it's free or not. Niko Nikolaidis' The Zero Years is a film that isn't interested in telling a story instead it wishes to hit the viewer almost on a subconscious level, demonstrating the dissolve of free will in society.
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