In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead.
God has abandoned Heaven. It's 1985: the Reagans are in the White House and Death swings the scythe of AIDS. In Manhattan, Prior Walter tells Lou, his lover of four years, he's ill; Lou bolts. As disease and loneliness ravage Prior, guilt invades Lou. Joe Pitt, an attorney who is Mormon and Republican, is pushed by right-wing fixer Roy Cohn toward a job at the Justice Department. Both Pitt and Cohn are in the closet: Pitt out of shame and religious turmoil, Cohn to preserve his power and access. Pitt's wife Harper is strung out on Valium, aching to escape a sexless marriage. An angel invites Prior to be a prophet in death. Pitt's mother and Belize, a close friend, help Prior choose. Written by
The Yiddish song that Ethel sings is "Tumbalalaika", an Eastern European/Russian folk song often used as a children's lullaby. See more »
When Louis takes Joe to his Alphabet City (tenement) apartment, he opens his door which is in a long line of doors down the hallway. Once inside, he suddenly has two large windows, front and back, where there shouldn't be windows because there are more apartments on either side of his. See more »
But still. Still bless me anyway. I want more life. I can't help myself. I do. I've lived through such terrible times and there are people who live through much worse. But you see them living anyway. When they're more spirit than body, more sores than skin, when they're burned and in agony, when flies lay eggs in the corners of the eyes of their children - they live. Death usually has to take life away. I don't know if that's just the animal. I don't know if it's not braver to die, but I ...
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Sometimes, as in the case of this mini-series, all the right elements come together to produce one of the best achievements in American television.
We can be thankful to Tony Kushner for the magnificent play in which this is based. We can give thanks to Mike Nichols for his vision on the possibilities of the material and for assembling and directing the best talent of this generation.
This is such a compelling drama that it would be very hard to get it from one's mind any time soon. The tragedy of AIDS is seen through the playwright eyes. Mr. Kushner presents us different stories that have the same thing in common, basically. He never passes judgment about what caused these people to be afflicted by the disease.
Kudos to an enormous talented cast as they get lost in their roles and in the story. Everything seems real, even though it is fiction.
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