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Protagonist (2007)

R  |   |  Documentary  |  January 2007 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 491 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 11 user | 30 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

Jessica Yu's documentary explores the relationship between human life and Euripidean dramatic structure by weaving together the stories of four men: German terrorist, a bank robber, an "ex-gay" evangelist, and a martial arts student.

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Title: Protagonist (2007)

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Credited cast:
Hans-Joachim Klein ...
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Mark Salzman ...
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Ancient Greek Narrator (voice)
Joe Loya ...
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Mark Pierpont ...
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Ancient Greek Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

Jessica Yu's documentary explores the relationship between human life and Euripidean dramatic structure by weaving together the stories of four men: German terrorist, a bank robber, an "ex-gay" evangelist, and a martial arts student.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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What do a bank robber, a terrorist, a kung fu student, and a gay evangelist have in common? They're all just like you. See more »

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Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language
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Release Date:

January 2007 (USA)  »

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$800,000 (estimated)
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References The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Like Nothing You Have Seen Before
10 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had a strange introduction to this movie. I added it to my queue on Netflix, and they marked it as available for instant play, meaning that I could just click on the button and view the movie on my monitor rather than receive the DVD by mail. The Netflix jacket blurb said something about the lives of four disparate characters finding common paths, and I assumed I was going to see a movie like Crash or 21 Grams, in which fate crosses the threads of the characters' lives. But what came up was a series of people talking, or family album-like photos, mixed in with some scenes of weird push-puppets. The audio failed so I had no idea what what was going on. I sent a message to Netflix that the link from instant play to the movie Protagonist was screwed up, and ordered the DVD to be shipped. I was amazed to find that what I had seen on instant play was in fact Protagonist. I've taken this space to explain all this so you will understand me when I say this is not like any other "movie" you have ever seen.

Protagonist is certainly one of the most creative productions ever. The producer manages to tie together themes from Euripides, push puppetry, and the drastic human experience, the story arcs, of four greatly disparate living men.

If you have seen TV pieces on great events like D-day or the Holocaust, in which the camera cuts back and forth between a group of narrators, this movie has a lot in common with those. The difference is that in those productions the forces that drive the characters to extremes are external to the characters, where in Protagonist the forces that drive the characters are all internal...their struggles are with their own minds.

The addition of the puppetry was a stroke of genius...the puppet scenes are masterfully creative and expressive, true art in a new form.

The synthesis of the humans telling their stories with the puppets acting out the Euripidean themes, made Protagonist seem more like fiction than documentary.

Not for everyone, but if you are bold in wanting to see something different and more creative than garden-variety fiction movies, try Protagonist. I loved it.


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Janie Geiser puppets! crasht7710
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