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Notes Towards an African Orestes (1970)
"Appunti per un'Orestiade africana" (original title)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 266 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 3 critic

The director presents takes and scenes filmed on location in Africa for a film-that-never-was, a black Oresteia.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Gato Barbieri ...
Himself - Musician: saxophone
Donald F. Moye ...
Himself - Musican: drums
Marcello Melis ...
Himself - Musician: contrabasse
Yvonne Murray ...
Herself - singer
Archie Savage ...
Himself - Singer
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The director presents takes and scenes filmed on location in Africa for a film-that-never-was, a black Oresteia.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Release Date:

29 November 1975 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Notes for an African Orestes  »

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(TV)

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1.37 : 1
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Referenced in Testament (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pasolini explores a stupefyingly naive idea
9 November 2005 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

Aeschylus's ancient play Orestes details the fabled founding of Athenian democracy - the old tribal chief Agamamnon returns home after his victory at Troy only to get slain by his adulterous wife and her lover; his children Elektra and Orestes take bloody revenge, but are subsequently forgiven by the gods who select Orestes as the founding father of a new societal order. Don't ask me why, but in the 60ies many Western Marxists believed that the African struggle for independence and the overcoming of colonial rule would somehow compare to the dawn of a new age detailed by Aeschylus. Pasolini feeds on this notion by taking cinematic notes while visiting Tanzania and Uganda, planning an all-African version of "Orestes". Taking into account that throughout Africa its peoples were ruled by cruel despots and Soviet puppets, this idea appears to be ridiculous. So the best part of this film essay is a discussion between Pasolini and a group of African students at Rome University who predominantly agree, that the western concept of Africa is generalist, fuzzy and most of all fundamentally flawed. This documentary seems to drag on for hours perpetuating a non-idea. Luckily, Pasolini never filmed "Orestes".


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