Savage wants to work his way up the criminal ladder. His role model is his brother Igor, the boss of a gang that plays a major role in town, and who doesn’t allow Savage to join his group. Savage’s girlfriend is a prostitute. During a meeting with a client, she is raped. She decides to take revenge on her pimp by telling Savage all the details of a drug deal that the man is involved in.
Savage tells his brother what he plans to do. In a bloody showdown, Igor seizes the drugs. Things get more complicated as it turns out that the stash belongs to the Serbian mob. As the Serbian mobsters begin to purge the city, Igor disappears, while Savage is left alone in the urban jungle, desperately struggling to save himself and his loved ones.
Director Biography – Jakub Charon
Jakub Charon – born August 26, 1982. Polish author, screenwriter, and film director. Vocalist, and guitarist of the band Pontif. Author of the novel Totem, on the basis of which he directed his feature debut. Totem, like the previous Charon movie titled Tension, was realized on a low budget, most of the scenes were improvised and played almost exclusively by non-professional actors, presenting a high level of realism.
Totem is an attempt to portray a criminal environment in which every move has its consequences. In this dispute there are many groups and individuals, with everyone fighting for power, making it very difficult to stay afloat. This world exists next to us, but for most it is closed and inaccessible. It is a world in which the law of the jungle rules. Only the strongest individuals can survive. I am aware of the fact that the main strength that distinguishes Totem from regular productions is the authenticity of the presented world. For it to reach its full dimension, the film has to play new, anonymous faces. Hence the idea was to fill the main roles with non- professional actors who could draw the viewer into the alien, hostile terrain and bring the reality of the street to the screen. Economical acting, improvised dialogues, fast editing and the tempo of the action, the raw poetry of the urban jungle, and the strong character of the main character who hides his intentions from the viewer, because this is the principle of survival in this world – if you can keep this particular kind of tension on the screen, uncertainty and unpredictability, the intended effect will be achieved. The essence of gangster drama lies in the form of the main character, who in a crisis situation is left on his own. There is no law that could protect him. There is nowhere to escape. The only support is family, which in this case also breaks down.
Savage is a bit like the hero of an ancient tragedy – he tries to make every attempt to change his fate, goes deeper and deeper into a web of tragic events. Catharsis occurs when the enemy against whom he fights, devours its own tail.