Cert 15 76mins Stars 4

This deeply disturbing American gothic horror is a piercing portrait of macabre madness. It enters your brain with the jab of a rusty pitchfork, and is just as difficult to remove.

The brutal violence and transgressive sex occurs off screen, and is more unsettling for it. Filming in soft black and white adds to the sense of timelessness, helping the story cover a period of years with great economy.

Francisca is the young daughter of a dairy farmer and an surgeon, living a remote rural life. When a gun wielding salesman causes chaos, her behaviour takes a dark turn.

As she grows up, she retains our sympathy. This is due to the remarkably poised performances of first Olivia Bond and then Kika Magalhaes in the role.

Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, The Eyes Of My Mother is a powerful and punishing watch, if you can bear to see it.

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