Ewa Bonecka, a young student about to start school in a new place finds herself without a place to sleep after she is declined a room in a women-only hotel. Helped by a pleasant policeman, ... See full summary »
The Shakespeare tragedy that gave us the expression "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." King Lear has not one but two ungrateful children, and it's ... See full summary »
July 13, 1808 at the Charenton Insane Asylum just outside Paris. The inmates of the asylum are mounting their latest theatrical production, written and produced by who is probably the most famous inmate of the facility, the Marquis de Sade. The asylum's director, M. Coulmier, a supporter of the current French regime led by Napoleon, encourages this artistic expression as therapy for the inmates, while providing the audience - the aristocracy - a sense that they are being progressive in inmate treatments. Coulmier as the master of ceremonies, his wife and daughter in special places of honor, and the cast, all of whom are performing the play in the asylum's bath house, are separated from the audience by prison bars. The play is a retelling of a period in the French Revolution culminating with the assassination exactly fifteen years earlier of revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat by peasant girl, Charlotte Corday. The play is to answer whether Marat was a friend or foe to the people of France. ... Written by
Several lines in de Sade's play give the impression that Charlotte Corday was a royalist (as she was portrayed, for instance, in the British press at the time of her trial). In fact she belonged to a revolutionary sect, the Girondins, more moderate than Marat's. See more »
The opening credits - the play's title, stage credits and the actors appearing in the film - pop on the screen, one word at a time, until it is filled. The closing credits - the film's production staff - start off with a full screen of words; they then pop off the screen, one word at a time, until it is completely empty...just as it was when the film began. See more »
One must read the play and see the background of Peter Weiss in order to get the full feel of this movie. It is absolutely the best presentation of the politics of man and our inability to ever resolve the major issues of our existence. Peter Weiss has fully captured the unending struggle between the politics necessary to obtain freedom versus that which enslaves. The best parts are the discussions between Sade and Marat as to the results of freedom versus dictatorship and capitalism versus socialism. The entire story provides a voyage through the human comedy and shows the inability of humanity to ever figure out the real truth of our existence and relationship to each other and our socitey. The result is a better understanding of the sinusoidal flow of the give an take of our history.
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