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The streets of a big city are full of dead bodies but people seem not to notice and pass by indifferently. At the behest of the authorities, the bodies of those citizens who were killed because the rebels should serve as a warning. Antigone wants to bury her brother. A young foreigner who speaks a foreign language and will offer his cooperation. Together, they try to bury the dead, but are discovered and killed. However, the example of the two is followed by other young people who take to the streets to continue to bury the corpses, again defying the authorities.Written by
The films of Liliana Cavani have never appealed to me, and I consider most of them (not all) to be among the most obnoxious of those modern cinematic works with a presumed claim to importance.
THE CANNIBALS is a modern reworking of the drama of Antigone, in the format of a radical political allegory. Set in the city of Milan, where a fascist government leaves the bodies of captured rebels on the streets, it is about Antigone, who wants to bury her dead brother. The character of Tiresias, a zombie-like Pierre Clementi who is about as expressive as the corpses we see lying around during the whole film, speaks an extra-galactic language and likes to eat fish (Christ symbol, GET IT???) Antigone and Tiresias spend much time taking away some of the bodies, placing them in caves, and giving them bread and fishes. Why do the bodies strewn everywhere never decompose, by the way? Oh yes, they are the recurring symbol of the evil of this totalitarian state. How stupid of me. Haimon (Tomas Milian), who defies his father the prime minister, wants to become an animal. But we can hardly care what anybody wants to do in this movie, so preposterous and annoying is it.
Universally despised by mainstream critics, the movie really deserved all the trashing it got, notably after its New York Film Festival showing. It is irksome, pretentious, and quickly wears on the nerves. The grating music by the usually good Ennio Morricone is not among his best, and sounds like it belongs in a spaghetti western.
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