Exotica (film)

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Exotica film poster
Directed by Atom Egoyan
Produced by Atom Egoyan
Camelia Frieberg
Written by Atom Egoyan
Starring Mia Kirshner
Elias Koteas
Sarah Polley
Victor Garber
Bruce Greenwood
Don McKellar
Arsinée Khanjian
Cinematography Paul Sarossy
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
May 16, 1994 (Cannes)
March 1995 (wide)
Running time
103 minutes
Country Canada
Language English
Budget CAD 2 million [1]
Box office $4,221,036[2]

Exotica is a 1994 Canadian film set primarily in and around the fictional Exotica strip club in Toronto, Canada. It was written and directed by Atom Egoyan. Music used includes "Montagues and Capulets".


Exotica presents a disparate group of characters whose lives are interconnected by the murder of Francis Brown's (Bruce Greenwood) daughter, with much of the film taking place in a strip club called Exotica. Christina (Mia Kirshner) is an exotic dancer at Exotica, owned by Zoe (Arsinée Khanjian). Eric (Elias Koteas) is the club's DJ and Christina's former boyfriend; both are involved in a complex relationship with Zoe, who is carrying Eric's child. Francis is a customer who comes in on alternate evenings and always has Christina—dressed in a schoolgirl uniform—give him a private dance. This inspires Eric's jealousy.

Francis pays his brother Harold's (Victor Garber) young daughter (Sarah Polley) to babysit on nights that he attends the nightclub. Francis, however, has no children and the girl merely practices music alone until Francis returns from Exotica and drives her home. Francis' relationship with his brother is strained, as the film suggests that Harold was having an affair with Francis' wife, supported later by the revelation that the car accident that killed Francis' wife also left his brother a paraplegic.

In his professional life, Francis is a tax auditor for Revenue Canada, who is sent to Thomas' (Don McKellar) pet store to audit books of account pursuant to the suspicion that Thomas is profiting from the illegal import of rare bird species. This is confirmed early in the film when Thomas is seen smuggling several hyacinth macaw eggs.

Francis is eventually banned from the club when Eric manipulates him into touching Christina during one of her dances (which is against the rules of the club). Around the same time, Francis discovers illegal activities in Thomas' financial records, and forces Thomas to get involved in his conflict with Eric—and we eventually learn that Francis' obsession with Christina has much more complex roots than it first appears, and approaches co-dependency for both characters. One of the film's final scenes, set many years back, shows that the death of Francis' daughter and the discovery of her body is central to the lives of the main characters.



Exotica received positive reviews from critics, as the film holds a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 31 reviews.



  1. ^ "Box office / business for Exotica (1994)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  2. ^ "Exotica (1995)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Exotica". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 


  • Egoyan, Atom, "Dr. Gonad", Granta #86 (Summer 2004) touches upon Egoyan's unlikely Adult Video award.

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