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Tocopilla, Chile sometime in the late 1930s/early 40s: Young Alejandro
Jodorowsky (Jeremias Herskovits) grows up between his hysterical mother
Sara (Pamela Flores), who doesn't talk but sing as if she was in a real
life opera and who thinks Alejandro is the reincarnation of her father,
and his father Jaime (Brontis Jodorowsky), who is determined to make a
"real man" out of rather effeminate Alejandro. Jaime though only
projects his own shortcomings onto his son, he thinks he's born to achieve
something great, but actually he's a stockings manufacturer, and suffers
for being a jew, too, even if he has long rejected his faith and has
become a Stalinist - not so much because the communist teachings appeal to
him but because Stalin is the "strong man" he longs to be.
tries various ways to make a real man out of Alejandro, like torturing him
to show him there's no use in crying, or making him the mascot of the fire
brigade, but none of this is really to Alejandro's liking, and he remains
a disappointment in his father's eyes.
But Jaime also has problems to
prove himself, so eventually he hooks up with the Communists and
volunteers to assassinate Chile's dictator General Carlos Ibáńez del
Campo (Bastián Bodenhöfer) - but when another Communist tries to commit
the deed in his stead, he actually saves the dictator's life, in exchange
for becoming the General's horse groom - to then poison his beloved horse
and then try to assassinate him ... but when he already has the gun at the
dictator's head, his hands become paralyzed and his gesture is
misunderstood - and the General actually gives him lots of money, which
the wind blows away though. This sends him on an odyssey though where he
hooks up with among others Christians and Nazis, and eventually makes him
a prisoner of conscience, to be tortured by the ruling party ... before a
coup d'état sets him free to reunite with his family a changed man. But
Alejandro and his mother have since forged a weird relationship ...
the autobiography of Alejandro Jodorowsky, La Danza de la Realidad
is anything but a boring bio pic. As a matter of fact, the film seems to
care very little to get its historical facts right, instead fills the
story with tons of surreal imagery you'd come to expect from Jodorowsky,
as well as absurd plot twists, circus references aswell as references to
religion as such, all filled with a copious amount of humour and drawn in
often vast and rich tableaus, making the most of the beautiful scenery and
the directors trademark bizarre details alike. If even 20% of this film is
actually based on Jodorowsky's life stands to discussion, but it's a
hugely entertaining film nevertheless.