Protagonist

2006
Distributed by Alive Mind Education, 56 West 45th St., Suite 805, New York, NY 10036; 212-398-3112
Produced by Jessica Yu
Directed by Jessica Yu
DVD, color, 115 min.
Jr. High - Adult
Drama, Philosophy, Theater


Reviewed by Brad Eden, Associate University Librarian for Technical Services and Scholarly Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
 
Date Entered: 12/5/2008

This entertaining and delightful film is a very unique and powerful adaptation of Euripides' famous Greek tragedy, The Bacchae. It examines the psychological transformation of modern society through the eyes of four men of disparate backgrounds, all played by puppets in Greek chorus tradition: Hans-Joachim Klein, a notorious former German terrorist; Mark Pierpont, an evangelical minister who comes out of the closet; Joe Loya, a bank robber turned journalist; and Mark Salzman, a Kung Fu devotee picked on by others since childhood. The puppetry is phenomenal, and a fascinating way to portray the drama. Some of the special features in the video include an interview with the director, behind the scenes action related to the puppetry, title animations, and the original trailer.

This modern adaptation of a well-known Greek tragedy is striking in its ability to portray the four characters and their evolutions so dramatically, while still maintaining the Greek mask tradition. Everyone who watches this film will relate to one or more of the characters, and the issues and challenges they have to face in modern society.