I probably would not have seen this if I hadn't heard that Dogtooth was based on it. Clearly it was. I wonder why Ripstein hasn't sued? Or why Lanthimos didn't give him credit? Perhaps they settled out-of-court secretly. Anyway, I am glad I saw both films and I appreciate both. Although it is the same bizarre story, the treatment in each film is unique.
A disturbing and sadistic attack on family values that transfers Buñuelian satire to a wretched, and totally free of surreal humor, drama set in a squalid home. Ripstein's muted colors create hell on earth as the insecure patriarch cannibalizes his family. The eunichized and subordinate children are almost uncanny in their suffering and Ripstein makes astute observations about victims' attachment to their tormentor.
I talked to Ripstein about all this Dogtooth controversy today, and he said that when he heard Lanthimos had been nominated for the Oscar he thought of sending him a message saying: I heard about the nomination, I hope we win.
An epitome of Ripstein's masterful venture of the melodrama in sordid terrains, "El Castillo de la Pureza" critiques to its core the patriarchal maladies of Mexican society and its obscure masochistic aspects.