Whole scenes appear to be missing. Thus within minutes, and with no explanatory detail, a chaotic and unhappy family becomes a psychotic one. That’s right. Without warning Kathy asks Charlie, her husband’s best friend, to rape Cebe. The reason? To stop her daughter becoming a dyke. The husband agrees! When this idea is frustrated - Cebe fights them off and makes particularly her father feel guilty -, they all go to bed; where the parents may even have sex. For Don and Kathy this incident is little more than a row over under-cooked broccoli. More weird stuff occurs later. Don visits Cebe, who forces him to kneel on the floor with his face fixed to look between her open thighs. Removing her pyjama bottoms she forces him stare at her vagina. He is being humiliated. Cebe reminding him of the time he came into her bedroom and stuffed her mouth with black panties (the rest is left to our imaginations). Her father, it seems, is a bastard. Worse: her father is a bastard who doesn't learn his lessons; he has raped his daughter since he left prison, which is not that long ago. We are shocked. Don has abused Cebe since this film began and we had completely missed it. Although this is not surprising, as we have not even seen a sign of sexual abuse. It is no wonder that she kills him.1
Freedom must have its limits. Without the borderland of time this particular kind of liberty will become seedy and chaotic; and very dangerous; Don destroying both himself and his family. Kathy is a heroine addict. Cebe is alienated from school and confused about her sexuality; when she dresses up in her father’s leathers she could be impersonating a lesbian; or it could be her attempt to recover a past which includes her old fantasies about her now degraded dad. She frightens her mother. She makes her father angry. All is confusion and hatred. We expect a tragic ending and we get it.
The idols are dying.
(Review: Out of the Blue)
2. This is apocalyptic revelation is reinforced in the final scene in the movie.
3. Contrast with Cebe who is old before her time.
4. This is closely linked to the precocious mentality (see my comments in Footnote LX of One Smile was Enough, It was an Earthquake).
5. Like Arthur Seaton in Alan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.