Can a small group of people start a proletarian revolution, asks the "Black Monk" in a leather jacket. The medieval shepherd, Hans Boehm, claims to have been called by the Virgin Mary to ... See full summary »
Can a small group of people start a proletarian revolution, asks the "Black Monk" in a leather jacket. The medieval shepherd, Hans Boehm, claims to have been called by the Virgin Mary to create a revolt against the church and the landowners. The "Black Monk" suggests that he would have more success if he dressed up Johanna and had her appear as the Virgin Mary. Written by
I've always known Fassbinder was a kindred spirit, but after watching his highly political doctrine (hard to even call this a film) Niklashausen, I'm all the more certain. This film would appear to be a mouthpiece for his political views more than any other he made. Multilayered and extremely anti-capitalist (and anti-religious?), this slow-moving, religious fable is hard to watch, but full of inciting ideas. Each scene is set up like a painting and then only slightly changed or expanded upon. Most notably are a murder on the steps to a house and the crucifixion in front of a heap of demolished cars, complete with shirtless boy-choir and mourning onlookers. You can see influence everywhere from Derek Jarman to Peter Greenaway. This is one of the earliest art films of its kind. And it is an art film--a call to arms--. Or not one. Certainly not for someone seeking plot or story, but for sheer imagery and intelligence, it's astounding.
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