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Simon is an outcast from his Jewish community because he claims that the devil talks to him and he has the ability to put curses on crops. When Dovid asks the 'Squire' to sell him some land so he can build a railway station, a ruthless businessman from the neighbouring gentile community uses Simon to find out who wants to buy the land so he can 'persuade' him otherwise. Written by
Simon is the village eccentric, plagued by visions of the devil. He halfheartedly turns on his own Jewish community when a dispute over the burgeoning railroad threatens community relationships.
This is a plodding, one-beat drama that is a chore to get through. Characters are simplistic, never more than two-beat in their actions. Simon is treacherous then remorseful, Dovid is ambitious then pragmatic. The other Jews are weary, the Squire is wise, Sarah is kind, and the evil businessman is from start to finish an evil businessman. There is some nice imagery fleetingly glimpsed, but it is small compensation for the insipid narrative and corny dialogue ("Teach me about this poetry of which you speak"). All in all, a bit of a waste of time.
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