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La Danza de la Realidad

The Dance of Reality

Chile/France 2013
produced by
Moisés Cosío, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, Xavier Guerrero Yamamoto (executive) for Caméra One, Le Soleil Films
directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
starring Brontis Jodorowsky, Pamela Flores, Jeremias Herskovits, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Bastián Bodenhöfer, Adan Jodorowsky, Axel Jodorowsky (as Cristobal Jodorowsky), Andres Cox, Alisarine Ducolomb, Fransicso Pizarro Saenz de Urtury, Felipe Pizarro Saenz de Urtury
written by Alejandro Jodorowsky, music by Adan Jodorowsky, visual effects by Ekkarat Rodthong, Thierry Delobel

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

Jaime 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 ...

 

Allegedly 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.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
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