Filmed in the golden-sepia color of an early talkie-movie, Of Freaks and Men, a 1998 movie, has a measured pace, angelic music, and a story line that assaults every sensitivity before offering reprieve.
Basically, this is a cyclic bourgeoisie/neo-bourgeoisie tale. The principal characters on the bourgeoisie side are the charming innocents: Leeza, the Freaks (Siamese-twin boys with angelic voices and personalities), and their adopting mother, the blind Yekaterina. These people are humiliatingly defiled and commercially exploited by the murderous Johann and his kin/cohorts Grunya and Viktor.
An emphasis on camera and phonograph (commercial tools) and the money exchanged between accomplices-in-crime i.e. cameraman and director (and paying audiences!) allows Of Freaks and Men to be viewed as a critique of the divisive/exploitative dehumanization that monopolistic capitalism can sickeningly produce. Yet, there's greater ambiguity and depth to this movie than that.
Most rewarding, arguably,(when considering how individuals move in this tale from closed/protected family/societal status to the opening-out vulnerable-and-being-hurt but self-developing status) is to view this drama as an innocence-to-experience tale which then moves forward to dramatize the even more mysterious and more demanding phase of life when a person rationally chooses to re-experience abuses until forgiveness offers understanding, deliverance, redemption, and, eventually, full and compassionate personal freedom. There are many views to consider though ... that's the joy of true cinematic art!
The DVD has no extras other than on/off subtitles and scene selection. There's no information about the director, cast or additional movies! Nevertheless, disappointments aside, this fearlessly profane morality/redemption tale still merits 5 stars!