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October 1999, Week 5


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 29 Oct 1999 13:55:38 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (45 lines)
Shari recommends:

> SPARTACUS -- good slaves against decadent masters (resisting both slavery and
> depravity)

That one is also good for its Christian iconography, but it reminds me
of BEN-HUR, among other N.T. Biblical epics and the TV mini-series

Another film that deals with spirituality and resistance, albeit in
somewhat quirky ways, is Oshima's MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE, set in
a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

Another example that is grounded in Zen Buddhism is Teshigahara's
RIKYU, about the strained relationship between the legendary master of
the tea ceremony and the last warlord before the Tokugawa Shogunate.
With a little background information, I think that this one could be
well-received and interesting to discuss.

Sembene's CEDDO is an interesting collapsing of historical perspectives
into a single moment as a village endures Western slavery, abetted by a
Muslim imam, with flashforwards to an Africanized mass, among other

Better for your purposes might be his GUELWAAR, which involves
a conflict between the Christian and Muslim communities in a village,
in the context of governmental corruption--one of his most accessible
works for non-Africans.

Finally, there's John Ford's THE FUGITIVE. No relation at all to the
TV series and Harrison Ford film, it's based on Graham Greene's THE
POWER AND THE GLORY and stars Henry Fonda. Greene denounced it.

Don Larsson

Donald Larsson
Minnesota State U, Mankato
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