As a painter in the court of King Carlos IV, Goya - played by the great Lithuanian actor Donatas Banionis (The Red Tent, Solaris) - has attained wealth and reputation. He believes in King ...
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As a painter in the court of King Carlos IV, Goya - played by the great Lithuanian actor Donatas Banionis (The Red Tent, Solaris) - has attained wealth and reputation. He believes in King and Church, yet he is also a Spaniard who dearly loves his people. This contradiction presents him with a dilemma. Based on Lion Feuchtwanger's novel, Goya is one of ten East German films originally shot in 70mm. This release is the director's cut and shows the influence of great filmmakers from Buñuel and Saura, to Eisenstein. Goya was nominated for the Golden Prize at the 1971 Moscow International Film Festival. Written by
DEFA Film Library
In their movies about Francisco Goya, Konrad Wolf and Milo Forman give the Spanish Court painter a totally different role. Also, those movies were shot in two different political regimes. But, still they have the same utmost relevant human message. As Oscar Wilde said in his 'The Critic as Artist': 'For when a work is finished, it has an independent life of its own, and may deliver a message far other than that which was put into its lips'. This is absolutely true for Konrad Wolf's movie, which attacked censorship in a totalitarian State.
In the movie by Konrad Wolf 'Goya or the tortuous road to understanding', based on the novel by Lion Feuchtwanger (centered on Goya's private life), the artist is the direct target of the Holy Office's Inquisition, because of his paintings and diabolic etchings. In 'Goya's Ghosts' by Milo Forman, the painter is a kind of neutral observer or helpful middleman between the Holy Office and the family of an innocent victim of the Inquisition and its bestial 'question'. However, the message of both movies is crystal clear and highly relevant today; first of all, no inquisitional powers with armies of spies and laws propagating denouncements; and, secondly, no torture, because unbearable pain forces totally innocent people to confess anything asked for, which is then considered as the ultimate proof of their guilt by their barbaric interrogators.
The play of the whole cast in Milo Forman's movie is simply fascinating, but it is not fully convincing in Konrad Wolf's film.
All men and women of good will should view these remarkably courageous masterpieces.
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