Katherine is a basically miserable and mentally unstable woman who is married to even-aged Isobel's father, who is the only one willing to give Katherine the unconditional love that she ... See full summary »
An expatriate American doctor in London allows herself to lighten up when her freewheeling younger sister and a mysterious man enter her life. Her inhibitions released, the beautiful doctor learns that freedom has its own price.
Detective Kyle Bodine falls for Rachel Munro who is trapped in a violent marriage. After shooting her husband, Kyle reluctantly agrees to help hide the body, but Kyle's partner is showing an unusual flair for finding clues.
Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving MI5 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file, threatening the... See full summary »
Adapted by David Hare from his own play, this British TV movie stars John Thaw as politician George Jones. Going against the grain of his bosses during a tough political contest, Jones ... See full summary »
On a bitterly cold London evening, schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Carey Mulligan) receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (Bill Nighy), a successful and charismatic ... See full summary »
In 1999 English playwright David Hare undertook a short visit to Israel and the occupied territories in search of... what? Material for a play? A better understanding of a major contemporary issue? A feeling that Hampstead, London, is not perhaps quite at the hub of the modern world? What resulted was not a play, but a stage monologue, and Hare, not a trained actor, chose to perform it himself, met with some success, took the production to America, where Via Dolorosa, as he called it, was filmed in performance at the Booth Theater.
Via Dolorosa, the pathway of sorrows, is a plain man's journey through the complexities and impossibilities at the heart of the Israel/Palestine problem. Hare is by turns puzzled, amused, infuriated and deeply moved by the opinions, some deeply held, others casually prejudiced, which he meets. He brings to life for us the various people encountered on the way: his translator, a British Council worker, an august Palestinian politician, a desperate Israeli lawyer, all of them opening his eyes, up to a point, to the tragic situation in the Middle East. Yet he returns to Hampstead a sadder man, certainly with no ideas for a play, with no solutions to the problem, but perhaps with a little wisdom to share with us.
As cinema, Via Dolorosa probably works better than some other efforts to preserve stage performances on film. It is simply photographed, with no more than brief bracket-scenes shot outside the Booth Theater. As a playwright, Hare knows all about pacing and varying his story; just occasionally you wonder how better an accomplished actor might have handled the material. But since it is such a personal tale, and since Hare seems to have no political axe to grind, it is easy to lose yourself in the spellbinding narrative and forgive the odd arm-flap or vocal swoop.
Strong partisans of either persuasion may find Hare's even-handedness hard to take. Those of us of his generation who share his bewilderment are grateful for his honest attempt to turn sadness into art.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?