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film

Atom Egoyan

IT IS A YOUNG stripper in schoolgirl drag who ushers us into Atom Egoyan’s heart of darkness, Exotica. In the verdant sleaziness of an upscale titty bar, rituals bleed their meanings as lives intersect and then collide. At the vortex of this emotional cyclone is Francis (Bruce Greenwood), a tax auditor, still reeling from the deaths of his wife and daughter, who transforms his mourning into the disturbing psychological games that he plays with an exotic table-dancer named Christina (Mia Kirshner). Recovering from her own history of abuse, Christina is struggling to leave behind her ex-boyfriend, Eric (Elias Koteas), the club’s tortured MC. Zoe (Arsinée Khanjian), the club’s owner, is pregnant by Eric. Thomas (Don McKellar), a pet-store owner who actually makes his money smuggling exotic animals, plays his own complicated games, picking up young black men with the promise of front-row seats

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