It is no longer a novelty that for many of us the daily existence has become a kind of continuous struggle with the social masquerade, behind which lies hypocrisy, selfishness or envy. The protagonist of ‘Eugene vs Humanity‘ is one of these people for whom the social jungle’s falsity becomes so unbearable that misanthropy becomes the only form of survival. Cynical or frightening? Moral or monstrous? It’s hard to say. In fact, this is probably the intention of director Michael David Charles Hicks who prefers not to provide categorical answers, despite his commendable ambition to synthesize in a short film an acidic critique of the contemporary individual’ fight with the demons of a rotten society. It is also hard to say whether Eugene, the protagonist of this project, is a hero or an antihero, since his transition from the victim to the aggressor status juggles with the emotions of the spectator who in turn oscillates between compassion and repulsion. Indeed, this somewhat unclassifiable emotional profile has been attacked in other circumstances by contemporary writers or directors (particularly in the context of the reaction to the consumerist society’s dehumanization – Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, David Cronenberg, etc.), but the suggestive force with which the director synthesizes in a few minutes the inner conflict of a character trapped between resignation to an unjust world and destructive revolt against hypocritical social clichés succeeds (if not revolutionizing this behavioral typology) in creating a somewhat spectacular destiny with a very good dose of black humor and extreme violence.

 

Unable to endure the passive-aggressive attitude of those around him, Eugene, a young man who embodies the most obvious physical and moral traits of the outcast, decides that the retaliation is the best form of defense. But is crime an effective form of survival even in a sick world?

 

Respecting the structural exigencies of a social critique that condemns the injustice of a hypocritical and competitive world where physical or emotional weaknesses are fatal, Michael David Charles Hicks recycles in a refreshing cinematic product stylistic features from black comedies and drama about total individual alienation. Opting for a seemingly unspectacular, but rather deceptive, cinema strategy through its raw realism with which he creates the sequence of shadowy images without the intervention of cosmetic filters, the director also offers us a hilarious and tragic experience, making us indirectly relive our own social failures. Thus, ‘Eugene vs. Humanity’ becomes not only an acidic social critique of the world we live in, but also a mirror in which we can analyse our own fears generated by the violence of the jungle beyond the walls of our homes.

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