Filth and Wisdom (2008) Poster

Filth and Wisdom (2008)

  • Rate: 5.1/10 total 1,535 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance
  • Release Date: 17 September 2008 (France)
  • Runtime: UK:81 min (PAL Version)
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Filth and Wisdom (2008)


Filth and Wisdom 2008tt1042499.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Filth and Wisdom (2008)
  • Rate: 5.1/10 total 1,535 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance
  • Release Date: 17 September 2008 (France)
  • Runtime: UK:81 min (PAL Version)
  • Filming Location: London, England, UK
  • Budget: £1,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $22,406(USA)(23 November 2008)
  • Director: Madonna
  • Stars: Eugene Hutz, Holly Weston and Vicky McClure
  • Soundtrack: Duy-Duy
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Gypsy | Partial Female Nudity | Nightclub | Russian Immigrant | Lap Dancing

Writing Credits By:

  • Madonna (written by) &
  • Dan Cadan (written by)

Known Trivia

    Goofs: Continuity: In the scene where Juliette is talking to A.K and is angry at him she is wearing suspenders. However, when the camera pans to the back of her head her suspenders are not visible.

    Plot: A comedy centered on three flatmates living desperate lives in London. Full summary » |  »

    Story: In London, A.K. is a Ukrainian Gypsy, seeking fame as a rocker, doing odd jobs: he's a dom, drives a hack, and runs errands for his neighbor, a poet full of self pity since going blind. A.K's flatmates are Holly, a ballerina who becomes a reluctant stripper in need of coaching, and Juliette, a pill-popping assistant at a pharmacy run by an Indian tired of his marriage. Juliette, estranged from her family, dreams of helping the poor children of Africa; A.K. has a crush on Holly; Juliette's boss lusts after her. Her hapless sister calls from time to time. The poet despairs. Is there a route from filth to wisdom for these souls? Can they find fun and fulfillment? A.K. provides philosophical comment.Written by <>  

    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Angela Becker known as associate producer
    • Nicola Doring known as producer
    • Madonna known as executive producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Eugene Hutz known as A.K.
    • Holly Weston known as Holly
    • Vicky McClure known as Juliette
    • Richard E. Grant known as Professor Flynn
    • Inder Manocha known as Sardeep
    • Elliot Levey known as Business Man
    • Francesca Kingdon known as Francine
    • Clare Wilkie known as Chloe
    • Stephen Graham known as Harry Beechman
    • Hannah Walters known as Business Man's Wife
    • Shobu Kapoor known as Sardeep's Wife
    • Ade known as DJ
    • Guy Henry known as Lorcan O'Niell
    • Nunzio Palmara known as Nunzio
    • George Keeler known as Frail Man
    • Tim Wallers known as Mr. Frisk
    • Olegar Fedoro known as A.K.'s Father (as Olegar Fedorov)
    • Luca Surguladze known as Young A.K.
    • Steve Allen known as Mikey
    • Shakeel Orr-Deen known as Sardeep's Child 1 (as Shakeel Orr-Dean)
    • Anya Chowdhry known as Sardeep's Child 2
    • Harley Sobraj known as Sardeep's Child 3
    • Iman Muneer known as Sardeep's Child 4
    • Yasmin Muneer known as Sardeep's Child 5
    • Amar Thethi known as Sardeep's Child 6
    • Mickey Drameh known as Beechman's Club Owner
    • Tracey Simmonds known as Pole Dancer
    • William Musyk known as Club Owner
    • Marina Baldewnkova known as Club Owner Girlfriend
    • Eliot Ferguson known as Gogol Bordello: Drums
    • Roland Price known as Ballet Teacher
    • Elizabeth Sun known as Gogol Bordello: Percussion / Dancer
    • Shawn Holmes known as Pianist
    • Evgeny Nikolaev known as Gogol Bordello: Vocals
    • Oren Kaplan known as Gogol Bordello: Guitar
    • Pamela Racine known as Gogol Bordello: Percussion / Dancer
    • Sergei Ryabtsev known as Gogol Bordello: Violin (as Sergey Ryabtsev)
    • Yuri Lemeshev known as Gogol Bordello: Accordion (as Yury Lemeshev)
    • Thomas Gobena known as Gogol Bordello: Bass
    • Lorea Hernandez known as Ballet Dancer
    • Maria Irisarri known as Ballet Dancer
    • Nouska Hanly known as Ballet Dancer
    • Ivan Putrov known as Ballet Dancer
    • Layla Harrison known as Ballet Dancer
    • T. Rene known as Ballet Dancer
    • Fiona Robertson known as Ballet Dancer
    • Jolice Truter known as Ballet Dancer
    • Amber Doyle known as Ballet Dancer
    • Lauren Adams known as Ballet Dancer
    • Penelope Sharp known as Ballet Dancer
    • Caroline Crawley known as Ballet Dancer
    • Claire Anne Elliott known as Ballet Dancer
    • Julien Roussel known as Ballet Dancer
    • Benjamin Ord known as Ballet Dancer
    • Fiona Jopp known as Ballet Dancer
    • Olivia Jenkins known as Ballet Dancer
    • Elena Poris known as Ballet Dancer
    • Heather Craig known as Ballet Dancer
    • Mayumi Yoshida known as Ballet Dancer
    • David Murley known as Ballet Dancer
    • Danibelle Bryce known as Ballet Dancer
    • Luana Nalah known as Ballet Dancer
    • Angela Harding known as Ballet Dancer
    • Lucy Dean known as Ballet Dancer
    • Rebecca Emmett known as Ballet Dancer
    • Elena Buda known as Ballet Dancer (as Elena Hardy)
    • Katrina Hawkins known as Ballet Dancer
    • Joanna Woodliffe known as Ballet Dancer



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Dejan Cekanovic known as hair stylist
    • Irene Christophis known as assistant makeup artist
    • Sinden Dean known as makeup designer
    • Vesna Giordano known as prosthetic makeup artist
    • Randolph Gray known as assistant hair stylist
    • Yin Lee known as makeup assistant: additional photography
    • Melanie Szabo known as assistant makeup artist (as Melanie 'Mel' Szabo)
    • Koji Takayanagi known as hair assistant: additional photography
    • Franco Vallelonga known as assistant hair stylist
    • Xabier known as makeup assistant: additional photography

    Art Department:

    • Rob Anderson known as construction coordinator




    Production Companies:

    • Semtex Films (presents)
    • HSI Films (produced in association with) (as HSI London)

    Other Companies:

    • Anvil Post Production  sound post-production
    • Casting Collective  extras casting
    • Creative Artists Agency (CAA)  filmmakers representation
    • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
    • Eastside Communications  publicity: Germany
    • Movie Lot, The  security
    • Soundtrack  trailer


    • IFC Films (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
    • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2008) (Switzerland) (theatrical)
    • Front Row Filmed Entertainment (2008) (Iran) (theatrical)
    • Hexagon Pictures (2009) (Japan) (theatrical)
    • La Fabrique de Films (2008) (France) (theatrical)
    • Miracle Voice (2009) (Japan) (theatrical) (in association with)
    • Surreal Films (2008) (Russia) (theatrical)
    • Syrena Films (2009) (Poland) (theatrical)
    • Ascot Elite Home Entertainment (2008) (Germany) (DVD)
    • Cinema Mondo (2008) (Finland) (all media)
    • Front Row Filmed Entertainment (2008) (United Arab Emirates) (all media) (Middle East)
    • Midas Filmes (2009) (Portugal) (all media)



    Other Stuff

    Visual Effects by:
    • James Cundill known as online editor
    • Jean-Clement Soret known as digital colourist
    • Pat Wintersgill known as on-line editor

    Release Date:

    • Germany 13 February 2008 (Berlin International Film Festival)
    • USA 18 June 2008 (Provincetown International Film Festival)
    • Poland 9 August 2008 (Film and Art Festival Two Riversides)
    • France 17 September 2008
    • Greece 24 September 2008 (Athens Film Festival)
    • Brazil 27 September 2008 (Rio International Film Festival)
    • Finland 27 September 2008 (Helsinki Love and Anarchy Film Festival)
    • Finland 27 September 2008 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
    • Belgium 11 October 2008 (Gent International Film Festival)
    • USA 17 October 2008 (limited)
    • Canada 18 October 2008 (Montreal Festival du nouveau cinéma)
    • Russia 18 October 2008 (Moscow International Film Festival 2MORROW)
    • Japan 24 October 2008 (Tokyo International Film Festival)
    • Finland 7 November 2008
    • Italy 22 November 2008 (Turin Film Festival)
    • Japan 24 January 2009
    • Australia 5 March 2009 (Mardi Gras Film Festival)
    • Canada 17 March 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • France 18 March 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • Sweden 15 May 2009
    • Italy 12 June 2009
    • Poland 7 August 2009
    • Greece 20 August 2009
    • Portugal 10 September 2009
    • Hungary 16 September 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • USA 29 September 2009 (DVD premiere)



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , .


    1. no_wars_no_cars from Berlin, Germany
      30 Mar 2012, 9:55 pm

      I really liked the film. I admit I almost didn't go to see it becauseof all the bad press, but Im happy I did. And for those who haven'tseen it and consider not to based on all the criticism, you reallyshould go and see it for yourself.

      I wonder what these critics were really expecting? Something a littlemore Hollywood? And what do you consider to be a "good" movie, if youdon't seem to like this one very much?

      I found the movie to be very honest. The only part I wasn't soconvinced of was the the blind guy, his facial expressions didn't matchthe character, I think he smiled too much.

      But other than that, where is the problem? Have any of you ever workedas a Dominatrix or known any sex workers? Or professional dancers whoturned to working at a strip club to earn a living? You say "cliché"but often clichés/stereotypes exist for a reason, because actual humanbeings (re)act in certain ways in certain situations.

      I think Madonna should feel proud of her work here! It was inspiring inits way, regardless of what some might say.

    2. dereine-berlin from Germany
      30 Mar 2012, 9:55 pm

      I saw this movie yesterday at the Berlinale.

      Going into the theater I thought it might be a dreadful film (after allthere were some terrible comments running the net…) I must say thoughafter just a ten minutes the film had gotten to me. It is funny and hasquite a pace to it. Getting to know the different characters did notseem to be "set up" as it happens to be in quite a few movies.

      Despite the obvious humor the movie contains a lot to think about andeven more to remember.

      I really would advice anyone to go and watch the movie as it is one ofa kind. Just go in expecting nothing and you will receive everything…

    3. from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 9:55 pm

      OK, so let me just say that I came into this as a huge fan of EugeneHutz and Gogol Bordello and while I don't enjoy her music, I likeMadonna's persona and was very excited to see the film.

      On the upside, this movie did have some interesting ideas on, well…filth and wisdom, sex work and art. Unfortunately, the story-tellingvehicle meant to get us to these ideas was so appalling that Mr. Hutzhad to narrate them to us fairly explicitly. For ideas to work in afilm WITHOUT an engrossing storyline, those ideas better be prettyprofound (which these aren't) otherwise it just looks like theamateurish work of an angsty teen (which this did).

      To make it all the more disappointing, the character set ups were GOOD.I wanted to like and know about each of the three protagonists andtheir relationships to each other. Unfortunately, everything goesdownhill after we meet them. Their back stories are only hinted at,their motives and personalities one-dimensional and their statedrelationships lacked the slightest chemistry. The secondary characterswere worse.

      So, what happened and who do we hold accountable for ruining this film?Someone was handed a great cast to play exciting characters, a nicelittle premise and some passable thematic ideas and yet it bombed. Thereal achievement of this film is that it managed to be as unwatchableas it was. The only real reason to sit through this pile is for the thesheer erotic thrill of seeing Eugene Hutz as a male dominatrix, and ifthat doesn't get you rocks off, then I'd just skip it all together.

    4. Nighthawk1 from Toronto, Canada
      30 Mar 2012, 9:55 pm

      As a director Madonna's understanding of subtlety and nuance is akin toa stiff punch to the gut. She doesn't get it at all. Incomprehensibleat times and pretentious in others, there isn't that much reason towatch it. I skipped some of the more arduous scenes that were hard toget through. Doing this made the movie easier to watch.

      The immigrant storyline which takes place in London is mildlyinteresting. The problem is that Madonna doesn't know how to bring herideas and observations together in a way that makes enough sense. Thislack if comprehension for the story she is trying to tell coupled withher inexperience as a director leads to on screen confusion andannoyance.

    5. sneakygringo from Ireland
      30 Mar 2012, 9:55 pm

      Jesus wept. I wish that was all I could say about this blundering,self-indulgent idiot of a movie. I am still reeling from the publichumiliation meted out to Eugene Hutz and Richard E Grant in this, asanother commenter so aptly described it, car-crash of a movie.

      The script they were handed and the movie they ended up embroiled inwas the equivalent of them being packed into a bright pink Lada,tweaked up to the gills on meth and viagra, naked, before beingforcibly driven at top speed into an oncoming bus-load of schoolchildren, with a haul of child porn sitting conspicuously on the backseat.

      Madonna's unmistakable, drooling brand of pretentiousness is smearedall over this particular steaming pile of waste. Althoughpretentiousness might be a bit generous, as that would suggest at leastan entry level modicum of intellect with which she had to work with;this is unadulterated idiocy.

      Watching this movie I was constantly reminded of that scene from A FishCalled Wanda where Klein, after being accused of being stupid, respondsindignantly 'Do stupid people read Russian philosophy?'. Curtis' answerkept running laps around my attention span: 'Yes, they do, they justdon't understand it.' This sums up the driving force behind thepretentious, empty-headed fumbles this movie attempts to make in aneffort to inject it with some kind of profundity, the like of whichwill no doubt appeal to people who have never experimented withthinking before, but alas will leave anybody who can spell the word'wheelbarrow' without spell check smacking their heads off the nearesthard surface with contempt for the foolishness being hurled in steaminghandfuls at their functioning brains.

      They spray-painted Richard E Grant's hair gray for crying out loud. Notcontent with humiliating the man through the woeful string of drivelthat was disingenuously entitled a script, they physically marked theman's person to make him look as foolish as the movie itself. Thereshould be some kind of association for prevention of cruelty to actorsset up if you ask me, Madonna would surely get the chair for what shedid to Hutz and Grant. For shame…

      I've given this movie 1 point because I like Hutz and Grant, 1 pointbecause I like Gogol Bordello who provide much of the music and styleevident in the movie, and I would give it another point for thecar-crash quality that kept me glued to it in disbelief, revelingperversely in how progressively terrible it kept getting by the second.

      It's that kind of morbid fascination you get if you smell a really badfart, disgusting, repulsive, but morbidly fascinating that it canactually be that bad and actually be getting more repellent. But sincethere are clearly people commenting here who insist on over-rating thisnonsense, waste-of-time testament to Madonna's failed education, I willwithhold that third point.

      If you like Grant or Hutz, avoid this movie at all costs; it's likewatching them ritually humiliated by an idiot in the crudest and mostunfortunate of fashions for a length of time that could qualify for ahuman rights violation. You will weep for them. I wouldn't be surprisedif Guy Richie decided to distance himself from his missus on thestrength of having seen this movie alone.

    6. chester_staines from United Kingdom
      30 Mar 2012, 9:55 pm

      I cannot ever recall writing a review on this site before, but I feltcompelled to after looking up the average rating out of curiosity andseeing a score of 5.1. Generally for any given film I can put my owntaste aside and guess within half a point what the IMDb generalconsensus will be. I'd have gone here for something like 7.4 … (andrated it 7 myself). Maybe as some other reviewer's have suggested,people's judgement has been affected by the hype and media around thisfilm. I was fortunate enough to watch it knowing nothing about it andenjoying the ride. I found Eugene Hütz's character completelybelievable and felt the film managed to steer way clear of beingpretentious yet telling an amusing story. OK, so it's no Trainspotting,but then again it is something different and in my opinion, worth awatch!

    7. dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
      30 Mar 2012, 9:55 pm

      Much reviled film from Madonna is playing on IFC in Theaters. Havingseen the film its clear that the hatred of the film is because of whothe director is rather than what the film is. Basically the story of AKand his two roommates who are trying to simply get a leg up in theworld. AK, played by Eugene Hutz in what I hope is a break throughperformance is a deeply philosophical Russian in a rock band who getspeople to pay him to abuse them. The film is narrated by him as we seewhat he and his friends are going through. A small scale nothing of afilm, this is the sort of film that probably wouldn't have been noticedmuch without Madonna in the directors chair. then again there issomething very much alive in the film with great characters , oddrelationships and very good music that raises it up a couple ofnotches. Clearly Madonna knows what she's doing behind the camera. Ireally do like the film. Its not the be all and end all, but there issomething nicely alive about the film that makes it more than the bythe numbers independent films it resembles. (And yes Richard E Grant isWonderful)

    8. mjrusso1 from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 9:55 pm

      A profound idea and Madonna put together sounds like a futile attemptto mix water and oil, but, being a guy who likes both Hutz as an actorand indie film alone should all by itself be testament to mywillingness to be open-minded about unusual forms of art andinterpretation. So, I watched Filth And Wisdom with no preconceivednotions even after reading so many bad reviews.

      Now that I've seen it, I'll just say that this film makes no effort toforce you to think and ask questions, but simply lays out the overallmessage up front then just goes through the motions of showing it.There were moments of potential, but at no point did I even remotelywonder how things might turn out for each character in the end. It justdidn't occur to me to care enough.

      In short, if you're a fan of Hutz's former roles in acting, no lessGogol Bordello, you'll probably enjoy seeing Hutz play himself in thisrole at most, which features a scene of Gogol Bordello performing atthe end. Filth and Wisdom, however, doesn't even come close to what youmight have walked away with in Everything Is Illuminated. This film isjust Madonna's effort to cash in on a new spotlight that no longershines on her, in my opinion.

      If you have no clue who Eugine Hutz or Gogol Bordello is and can careless, on the other hand, I advise you avoid this movie alltogether….. unless you're on a drug that can make almost anythinginteresting.

      Either way, don't expect much and you won't be disappointed.

    9. gcatelli ( from downtown manhattan
      30 Mar 2012, 9:55 pm

      "Filth and Wisdom" illustrates that growing up requires getting yourhands dirty — you can't gain wisdom by spending your life in agerm-free bubble. however, that's too many words for a title, so it'scalled "Filth and Wisdom" instead.

      imo, relative to current pop culture, there's no "filth", as such, inthis movie, except for Eugene Hutz's filthy feet shoved in the face ofthe viewer during an otherwise moving scene, which shows thereconciliation of two sisters who had been feuding.

      indeed, the film would have been substantially improved if EugeneLutz'z ego had been edited down from the size of the Titanic to, say,the Love Boat.

      nonetheless, this little indie film is a very warm-hearted look at theunavoidable conflict between the fact that society must have rules tobe society, but humans must sometimes bend or even break these rules tobe humans.

    10. Raddish72 from USA
      30 Mar 2012, 9:55 pm

      I watched this last night On-Demand and although it was lacking in someothers, I still found it worth watching. Eugene Hutz is fabulous ineverything he does so I fully understand Madonna basically making thisfilm to highlight him and Gogol Bordello. My main issue with the filmwas the lack of comradery between the roommates. They were supposed tobe very close and I never got that impression. And there was basicallyno back story on any of the characters. But I do get what Madonna wastrying to do with this. She just fell short a little. But I think she'son the right track. Also, one of the main characters, Vicky McClure wasquite good. I would like to see her in more films. But definitely seethis if you are a fan of Gogol Bordello.

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