In a Chilean little town, the son of an uprooted couple, formed by a rigorous communist father and a loving but weak mother, tries to pave his own path in a society that does not understand their Jewish-Ukrainian origins.
A former circus artist escapes from a mental hospital to rejoin his armless mother - the leader of a strange religious cult - and is forced to enact brutal murders in her name as he becomes "her arms".
An excerpt of dialogue plays out the otherwise instrumental track 'The Hawthorne Passage' by American blackened folk metal band Agalloch on their 2002 album The Mantle
Lis (singing): Yo moriré y nadie se acordará de mí. De mí... Fando: Sí, Lis, yo me acordaré de ti e iré a verte al cementerio con una flor y un perro, y en tu funeral cantaré, en voz baja, "¡Que bonito es un entierro!" See more »
Once upon a time... a long, long time ago... there was a mystical city, Tar. And at that time all the cities were intact and flourishing, because the final war had not yet begun. When the great catastrophe occurred, all the cities crumbled... except Tar. Tar still exists. If you know where to look for it, you will find it. And when you get there you will be presented with wine and water and play with a gramophone. When you get there, you will help harvest grapes and you will pick ...
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Shortly after Federico Fellini's Satyricon was released to appreciative audiences in the USA, an English dubbed version was hurriedly released that was re-edited to appear more "Felliniesque" and was 13 minutes shorter than the original edit. It was a critical and financial flop. See more »
I think Fando and Lis is a masterpiece, and one of the least pretentious films I've seen. As it's 2 am and I've just watched it, I am not in a position to be articulate, but I'll sum up my reasons in the following, then come back in a few days and further the commentary.
1. I was never once bored. 2. How the hell did the director get this made, and have all the actors and extras participate in what to them must have seemed embarrassing and weird sacrilege? 3. It was epic poetic fantasy, using creative theatrical games, fresh play of props and brilliant mise en scene - tapping into all kinds of primal emotions, fears and desires. 4. He makes good the limits of the medium. Even the high contrast black-and- white served its purpose; when Fando tries to convince Lis there are flowers, the surrounding many stones and bric-a-brac suggest flowers to the viewer. Where faded acoustics must have reigned given the budget and desert landscape, he fills the soundtrack with compelling auditory images. 5. It's a combination of Fellini's 81/2 (the bewildered director as lover) and La Strada, but even more personal; with more guts; rawer, fresher. 6. Who could deny the plaintively lovely Lis? The forlorn fawning seductress? And wasn't Fando a charming and silly chap, full of fondness for living when he wasn't cast in the role of the brute? And wasn't their chemistry palpable?
Above all, I was moved. I recognized it both as a simple love story toting the truism that love has no road map, and a cry from the wilderness. It was authentic scream of a soul to FEEL the experience of living, good and bad. Watch this film when you're lost - when your heart aches with unfulfilled desires - you want your dead parents back or the lover you mistreated. Watch it then. You'll know what the hell it's about.
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