It’s fun to see the pre-Awful Truth days when every corporate headquarters didn’t have an Official Michael Moore Policy and when Moore was thrown out of an event not because of who he is but because one of Ralph Nader’s relatives was with him. It’s also fun to see what a good movie Moore can make when he devotes all his time and energy to a single cause instead of bouncing from one populist hot topic to the next (Columbine, Fahrenheit) or tackling issues that are too large to fit in a movie (Sicko). He stays (mostly) in Michigan, covers a couple years’ worth of plant closings, visits and revisits local people (the eviction deputy, for one) and tries to get answers from (and stir up debate against) the corporate overlords and policies seen to be the cause of the problems. We’d been meaning to watch this for a long time, and thought the week of G.M.’s collapse (and Moore’s latest email about it) made for good timing.
Opens with the title “Are you for or against the abolition of the death penalty?”
Movie gets straight to the point. After reading Tony Rayns say about In the Realm of the Senses that “there is no thing as the Oshima style,” I thought I’d check out one of his earlier films and see for myself. Sure enough, this has nothing in common with it or with Empire of Passion – it’s bonkers in its own particular way.
Oshima in 1964: “An artist does not build his work on one single theme, any more than a man lives his life according to only one idea. Foolish critics, however, want to think that works have just one theme running through them. Then when they find something that contradicts that one theme, they immediately say that they don’t understand the work. Our work has nothing to do with these foolish critics. We want to put into it everything we are thinking and experiencing now; if we didn’t, creative work would have no meaning for us.”
R., a rapist and murderer, is hung but seems unhurt. Since his body won’t die, they rule him demented – but now he can’t be killed because a demented man can’t realize his guilt and understand punishment. The surly chaplain says they can’t even pray for him because last rites have already been administered. R. seems to have amnesia, so the men in the room (prison officials, doctor and so on) act out his crimes to jog his memory. They tell him his history, convince him he is Korean, awaken his mind and memory in order to kill him again.
They get really into their re-enactments – the education minister (above) imagines that he has actually killed a girl on the roof of a building and the others think him hysterical – then one by one they begin to see the dead girl – then she’s not dead at all, rises up and starts to talk with R, says she’s his sister. The men are upset because R never had a sister, but that falls by the wayside, and eventually she and R are lying on the floor apparently naked under a sheet while the men all argue and cry and hallucinate around them. It’s that kind of movie. With its loooong shots and loose, imprecise framing, single location and shouty characters, it could’ve easily been done as a play.
Akiko Koyama, an Oshima regular, as the mysterious Korean woman:
Oshima 1964: “Unless you see people living in their own country, their true identity escapes you. The tragedy thus grows clear; the Japanese and Koreans have superficial and uncertain views of each other, and cannot see things in their true light.”
1968: “Death By Hanging had as its starting point the events set in motion by the criminal Ri Chin’u, perpetrator of the Komatsugawa High School incident. In my opinion, Ri Chin’u was the most intelligent and sensitive youth produced by postwar Japan, as demonstrated by the collection of Ri’s letter edited by Boku Junan, “Punishment, Death and Love.” Ri’s prose ought to be included in high school textbooks. Ri, however, committed a crime and was sentenced to death. I had been thinking of devoting a work to Ri ever since he committed his crime in 1958. … We created R, a character who did not die after execution.”
1974: “In ancient times, revolutions began with the destruction of prisons. No, history called the uprisings that were strong enough to destroy the prisons “revolutions.”
R (left) with the priest played by Toshiro Ishido, the writer of Oshima’s Night and Fog in Japan:
“Death only has meaning if we know it is coming.”
“I don’t want to be killed by an abstraction.”
Recommended listening: That Man Will Not Hang by McLusky
See, used to be I’d go to the video store and rent anything that looked interesting, and I’d come home with wild, awesome, insane movies. But one Tetsuo The Iron Man and a pile of Richard Kern films later, I start to get wary of the weird stuff. It seems the few weird, random films I rent these days are crappy movies trying too hard for cult success (Sukiyaki Western Django, Tokyo Gore Police). Eventually I get this crazy idea that I should seek out good movies instead of bad ones, and become obsessed with lists of great and important films and magazines like Cinema Scope. So imagine my surprise when C.S. did an article on Craig Baldwin, one of those purveyors of cult-reaching found-footage hyper-weirdness peppering the video shelves. Bug had been a C.S. recommendation and that wasn’t so bad, so I finally overcame my angry memories of Baldwin’s Negativland documentary Sonic Outlaws and I rented this.
And wow is it a mindblowing pile of awesomeness. Footage from ALL sources (godzilla/molemen/cartoons, star trek scenes played as news footage, actual news footage superimposed with sci-fi business) combine to form a tell-all exposé of aliens from planet Quetzalcoatl who landed on earth in the year 1000 and live underground for centuries, waking after nuclear bomb tests to affect global climate change and politics in South and Central America and the U.S., leading to annihilation of the planet in the future year of 1999.
Movie is a wild, hilarious masterpiece of montage, with the nutty stuff woven into actual history, then 45 minutes in, after I thought it had just ended, it refocuses on Africa and becomes kind of dull. Turns out this was the short RocketKitKongoKit (1986), with no opening title so I didn’t know what was happening. Story is more news reporting with less fanciful writing, with stuff on Mobutu (evil ruler of Zaire/Congo) and others I already can’t remember, and I think there was stuff about Germany in there. Loved the conspiratorial half-whisper of the narrator in the first film, so the dull, accented narrator of this one lost interest in comparison.
Next up on the DVD: Wild Gunman (1978), apparently featuring scenes from a dragon’s-lair live-action cowboy video game, but I guess they didn’t have laserdisc players in ’78. Clever montage of advertisements, cowboy shows, repeated bits back and forth (not quite Martin Arnold-obsessive, just for fun). All three movies are divided into numbered sections… the last one used reverse-images of a girl holding up numbers and this one’s got film countdown leader. Playful and fun, brings back the energy the middle film lost.
Internet says Baldwin is a Bruce Conner devotee – no surprise there.
Video distributor says:
Baldwin’s “pseudo-pseudo-documentary” presents a factual chronicle of US intervention in Latin America in the form of the ultimate far-right conspiracy theory, combining covert action, environmental catastrophe, space aliens, cattle mutilations, killer bees, religious prophecy, doomsday diatribes, and just about every other crackpot theory broadcast through the dentures of the modern paranoiac… a truly perverse vision of American imperialism.
T. Maloney in Senses of Cinema:
On the surface RocketKitKongoKit is the true story of a German rocket firm leasing land in the Congo (then called “Saire” under Mobutu’s reign), for testing rockets. The larger implications, that of Europe’s colonial attitude towards Africa in the 1960s and the exploitation of its people for a program the Europeans didn’t want in their own backyard, is not an entirely inaccurate one. History is, of course, highly malleable, and interpretations of any event can continue for decades – especially with relatively recent and well-documented events. The direct links between the ESA’s rocket program and deteriorating conditions in Africa are made more forcefully than would a more conservative historian, and the information is presented with the authority and integrity the documentary form affords.
and on Trib 99:
Organised into 99 chapters, each with a terrifying title screaming out in full screen capital letters, (9) the structure of the film invokes both conspiracy theories and biblical texts. And yet a great deal of the narration in Tribulation describes a readily verifiable history of American intervention in Central America from the 1960s through the 1980s. It is mixed in with vampires, voodoo and killer robots, but it is there.
Think this is one of those seminal films that make people foam at the mouth about the 1970′s being the best-ever movie decade. Usually I’m skeptical, but this one lives up to the rep. Can’t believe it took me this long to watch it. One of Altman’s scattershot ensemble pieces illustrating life, sex, violence, media and politics over one weekend in the mid-70′s, closer to the messy truthfulness of Short Cuts than the more conceptually-unified Prairie Home Companion. Plot, then, defies simple description, so here are a bunch of character sketches instead.
Solo Opry stars:
Tommy Brown and Haven Hamilton (Henry Gibson, suspicious neighbor in The Burbs) are the friendly male stars, while Connie White (Karen Black of Burnt Offerings, House of 1000 Corpses) and Barbara Jean (Ronee Blakley, Nancy’s fred-krueger-killin’ mom in Nightmare On Elm Street) are bitter rivals. BJ is recovering from exhaustion, acts slightly crazy throughout the picture.
Up-and-coming band “Tom, Bill & Mary” consists of relatively uptight Bill (Altman regular Allan Nicholls), Mary (Christa Raines of Ridley Scott’s The Duellists) who is married to Bill but secretly sleeping with Tom, and bearded free-spirit Tom (Keith Carradine of Street of No Return) who sleeps with near every girl in the movie.
Third-party candidate Hal Phillip Walker (inexplicably running in state “primaries” in a misuse of political language) is often heard but never seen. His campaign manager John Triplette (Michael Murphy of Tanner ’88, X-Men 3) is everywhere, trying to recruit music stars for a rally. Del Reese (Ned Beatty of Deliverance, Network, Stroker Ace) is a heavy dude assisting Triplette. Triplette basically tricks Haven and Barbara Jean into appearing at the climactic rally.
Off on her own is BBC journalist Opal (Geraldine Chaplin, the year before Noroît). I was happy to see her at first, but her character is so awfully self-absorbed and oblivious to the world and personalities that she’s purportedly researching, she soon became mere comic relief.
The ever-present magician-looking guy on a three-wheeled hog was Jeff Goldblum’s third movie role (California Split was his second). Shelley Duvall, in the middle of her Altman film streak (ended with Popeye) plays a flamboyant girl often explained away with “she’s from California.” A boarder at her house named Kenny shoots Barbara Jean at the rally in the final scene, and the guy who tries to stop him, army private Kelly (Scott Glenn, just played Rumsfeld in W.) has been stalking B.J. throughout the movie. Poor Sueleen Gay (a great name, played by Gwen Welles of California Split) is an enthusiastic red-haired waitress who wrongly thinks she can sing, reduced to strip-teasing at a pre-rally bar party.
Sueleen’s coworker Wade looks out for her. Sad Mr. Green (Keenan Wynn, guy leading the attack on General Ripper in Dr. Strangelove, also in Point Blank, Piranha, Laserblast, Parts: The Clonus Horror) is the California girl’s uncle; his wife dies in the hospital. Barnett (Allen Garfield of Brian De Palma’s early films) is Barbara Jean’s controlling husband/manager. And Lily Tomlin, in her first film, is campaign fella Del Reese’s wife, mother of two deaf kids, who sneaks away to sleep with former flame Tom of the trio.
Movie made piles of money. Won piles of awards except at the oscars (lost to Cuckoo’s Nest), baftas (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) and grammies (Jaws). Acting awards were difficult – Golden Globes gave it four nominations just for best supporting actress, surely a record. Lots of gossipy maybe-true bits online: Nashville was going to be two movies, the unused footage was to become a miniseries, and a sequel was written and cast before falling apart.
Shot in wide-ass cinemascope with no close-ups (by the D.P. of Coffy and Silent Movie), so screenshots aren’t much help. Would be reeeeal nice to see on the big screen someday. Did not play the DVD commentary by Robert Altman because I didn’t want to listen to him drift in and out of sleep for 2.5 hours.
Thanks to TCM for showing this rare cult film written, directed, produced and even distributed by goofball character actor Timothy Carey (of The Killing, Paths of Glory, One-Eyed Jacks and East of Eden – later of Head and two Cassavetes films).
Carey, with all the power he can muster, plays an insurance salesman who tires of the game, has an internal moral/religious/political crisis and decides that anyone can be God. He gets his name changed to God, affixes a fake goatee, hires his Mexican gardener as his number-two man, gets sponsored by a shadowy political figure, and runs for high office. He names his group the Eternal Man’s Party, says his followers can be “super-human-beings”, it sounds like a dangerous cross between naziism, self-help dianetics, and The Holy Mountain. Plenty of people follow God Hilliard’s clearly sacrilegious message until late in the campaign newsmen start asking if he’s maybe an atheist. Atheists don’t get elected, but people calling themselves God do? Clarence has sent his wife and kids away so he can have sex with 16-yr-old groupies and live the decadent life of the rich and powerful, but amongst the atheism allegations he starts defying God to show Himself, wanders into a church and steals those holy biscuits that Catholics are so nuts about, starts stabbing one with a needle. Ha, nothing, he leaves the room, comes back, a trail of blood, miracle, movie busts into crazy color.
Coming out around the time of X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes and Carnival of Souls, and only a year before Shock Corridor, it’s not like it was the only weirdo movie in Hollywood those days, but its weirdness is still pretty damned impressive. Roughly edited with a cheap look but a good eye, clearly a personal movie.
Assisted by Ray Dennis Steckler (Wild Guitar, The Incredibly Strange Creatures…). Music composed by a 21-year-old Frank Zappa, four years before Freak Out. The title song ended up on the Cucamonga comp. Wife is played by Betty Rowland, who has very few credits, but one is a doc called Striptease: The Greatest Exotic Dancers of All Time, so we can guess where Carey found her. His Mexican gardener/assistant Alonzo turned up twenty years later in Scarface. Paul Frees, the professional voiceover guy who did the snake/narrator, was writing/directing The Beatniks around the same time… crazy.
Even in a year of crazy films like The Wicker Man and Touki Bouki, ain’t nothing crazy enough to sit with The Holy Mountain. This was the last of Jodorowsky’s fully-realized features until Santa Sangre (nobody, AJ included, seems to like The Rainbow Thief or Tusk).
Third shot of movie: Director/Alchemist with women who will soon be shaved:
First half-hour is free-flowing. A Thief (who I didn’t realize never speaks) wanders with a deformed dwarf, getting beaten up and attending a toad-and-chameleon circus, while around them dissidents are executed, riot police hold a dead-animal parade, and priests pick up underage prostitutes. Finally the thief breaks into a mighty tower occupied by The Alchemist (Jodorowsky himself) who cleanses him, turns his shit into gold, and then introduces our other characters and their corresponding planets:
- Fon/Venus – narcissist who runs fashion & cosmetic companies, slave to his dad
- Isla/Mars – major arms manufacturer
- Klen/Jupiter – sex-obsessed artist
- Sel/Saturn – makes war toys to prejudice kids vs. countries we plan to invade
- Berg/Uranus – murderous bureaucrat
- Axon/Neptune – ruthless mohawked police chief with testicle collection
- Lut/Pluto – futuristic architect, designing sleep-chamber apartments
(I had to look some of those up – movie is sensory overload, I forgot stuff)
Three chameleons prepare to defend Mexico from the toad invasion:
Kind of a Jesus/disciples thing, but is the Thief Jesus or is the Alchemist? They go through intensive spiritual training, then Alchemist leads them to the Holy Mountain atop which nine ancient immortals control our planet, with the goal of deposing them and becoming immortal themselves. Each traveler has a dream of their own bizarre death, but they continue to the table at the summit, where they find dolls in the seats. Sitting down, camera pulls back to reveal Jodorowsky’s lighting and sound crew, and he proclaims the truth: “We are images, dreams, photographs,” freeing them from the film itself.
Atop The Holy Mountain:
Haven’t checked out the commentary yet (tried to listen at work, but of course it’s in Spanish), but in a modern interview online, Jodorowsky says he never killed animals for his movies – not even the rabbits in El Topo. That’s surprising, but I’ll take the guy at his word. He also says he became a feminist during the making of Holy Mountain, and indeed it’s hard to think of movies less feminist than his previous two. He’s a fan of Lynch, Cronenberg and Starship Troopers, and I wish him luck with his long-delayed Lynch-produced next movie.
Alchemist & Thief in chamber of mirrors:
Cinematographer Rafael Corkidi shot The Mansion of Madness the same year. A few of the actors have popped up elsewhere… Lut/Pluto had a small part in The Exterminating Angel, Axon/Neptune was an Oliver Stone collaborator throughout the 90′s, and Fon/Venus plays the lead girl’s dad on the show Rebelde.
My taunting of Katy for complaining about long movies (“long” > 105 minutes) bit me in the ass today. After an hour delay the movie started, and after 2.5 hours I was the first to moan about how LONG that damned movie was.
The project may have been initiated by the country of Namibia, but it says Burnett wrote and directed, so I’m laying the blame at his feet. So what went wrong? The other Burnett movies I’ve seen centered around small communities, so maybe his style can’t support stretching out to epic scale with ten countries and a hundred characters. Katy points out that Danny Glover had the only character with any depth, and Burnett said in an interview that Glover’s character was fictional, a blending of three or four real people, so maybe Burnett has problems with writing history and his strength is in fictionalization. After the recent reissue of Killer of Sheep, every film critic fell over himself to declare Burnett an American treasure, so maybe the combined weights of feeling like he has to live up to his reputation and deliver a high-quality picture, and feeling like it’s his duty to truthfully deliver the story of Namibia to the rest of the world led to too much compromise.
Plot: Young Sam Nujoma grew up in “South West Africa” (aka Namibia), a country governed by nazi… i mean Germans and occupied by South Africa. Sam always dreamed of a free Namibia. He met some guys who also wanted that, and started a political/guerrilla movement called SWAPO. He went to church and met minister Danny Glover. Then he pissed off to the United Nations and stayed there for twenty years, finally returning as president of his newly-independent nation. Yay!
I didn’t realize that Carl Lumbly (who played grown-up Sam Nujoma in a series of fake beards) was also the easily-manipulated slacker Junior in Burnett’s To Sleep With Anger.
Quoting myself in an email:
Movie feels long, and yet each scene feels too short. Tries to tell the *entire* story of Namibia AND of [Nujoma] without leaving anything out, so it’s an epic and a biopic crammed into 2.5 hours. Script feels like a wikipedia article. And story problems aside, it’s full of traditional epic-sounding music, and traditional cutting and camerawork… doesn’t feel like the idiosyncratic artworks that the other Burnett films I’ve seen (Sheep, Wedding, Anger, the shorts) felt like. Disappointing. BUT it’s got some great shots and some fine acting, and the stories of Namibia and Nujoma are interesting, so it was at least worth sitting through. It’s not total crap (like Amazing Grace), just not the great movie I was hoping for.
Watched this the same month as Trouble In Paradise, not having guessed how connected the two would be – the book/script of Stavisky even mentions that they stole shot ideas from Paradise. This one seems like a correction to the other, set during the same year with some of the same reference points (such as Trotsky) but here the upper-class gentleman thief is revealed to be a sham, and rather than escaping at the end to start over with his true love, the thief ends up dead, his widow in prison. The final shot is the chauffeur (of the period Rolls they drive everywhere) placing a bouquet of white flowers for her outside the prison.
Bright and lively music by Stephen Sondheim (who had already won three Tony awards in the 70′s) kept the doomed inevitability away until it was too late. Sondheim had already won three Tony awards in the 1970′s by the time Stavisky came out. It’s one of the very few times he’s written music (more than one song, anyway) for films – the other cases were Warren Beatty’s Reds (another movie featuring Trotsky!) and Dick Tracy.
Another story by Jorge Semprún, who wrote the exile-themed The War Is Over. One of Stavisky’s associates (Juan Montalvo, a slimy guy who hits on Arlette but can provide Serge with lots of money) was funding the attempted coup in Spain which led to the Spanish Civil War. In researching the film Semprun found that the same police inspector (named Gardet in the movie) assigned to watch over Leon Trotsky in France was also assigned to report on Stavisky, so Trotsky’s exile was written into the movie, as witnessed by a kid named Michel Grandville. The movie is bookended with Trotsky – first arriving in France, beginning his exile from Russia, and at the end after the Stavisky scandal, being moved further into exile, far from Paris, his political influence feared by the conservatives. Stavisky himself is a Russian Jew in exile – so there are a few connections to the previous film.
The paperback book says it “represents the final scenario” for the shooting of the film, and the intro by Richard Seaver addresses something I had wondered about after reading The War Is Over and believing that Semprun’s script was shot word-for-word with very little added by Resnais: “Once the subject is established, the writer does an initial draft, or treatment, after which writer and director discuss it scene by scene, often line by line, in excruciating detail, until the distinction between writer and director blurs or disappears.” So in fact the books by Semprun represent the collaborative vision of he and Resnais – my beloved auteur is no longer in peril.
The real Serge Alexandre Stavisky was involved in ever-larger finance fraud and was connected with people high up in French government, and when this was made public in January 1934 it led to riots, deaths (incl. the semi-suicide of Stavisky himself), trials for his friends and widow (all acquitted the following year) and political upheaval. Not knowing much about French politics, the Wikipedia articles are hard to follow, but it seems the ultra-conservatives tried to overthrow the leftists in power – eventually one leftist resigned, a conservative replaced him, and somehow socialists ended up in power.
Belmondo, a decade after Pierrot le fou and still looking the same:
Jean-Paul Belmondo as Stavisky/Alexandre is dazzling, a con-man with absolute confidence in himself. Arlette is his glamorous wife, and he’s surrounded by associates, some complicit in his underhanded dealings like assistant Borelli and Serge’s in-pocket doctor (Michael “Thomas” Lonsdale) who keeps declaring Stavisky unfit to stand trial for a six-year-old fraud offense… and some are just content to spend time with Stavisky, enjoying his company and not asking questions, like friend Baron Raoul (an outstanding Charles Boyer).
Arlette: Anny Duperey’s debut was seven years earlier in Godard’s Two or Three Things I Know About Her.
The book says “Barol Raoul’s looks, gestures, diction and bearing are those one would expect a baron to possess in those films where barons play a part.” That’s hilarious… I hope those are the character notes they gave to Charles Boyer.
This was French superstar Boyer’s second-to-last film. I saw him as the star of Fritz Lang’s not-so-good Liliom. He is the second actor I’ve seen lately (after Maurice Chevalier) claimed to be the inspiration for Pepe le Pew.
As Stavisky’s right-hand man, beloved character actor Francois Périer of Nights of Cabiria, Orpheus, Le Samourai, also narrated some Chris Marker films. From the book: “Albert Borelli’s face is impassive, but he has a sharp eye. He is a man of few words but not of few thoughts.”
No wonder I had trouble with inspectors Bonny and Boussard – it’s complicated. Boussard arrested Stavisky years ago, and a couple years afterwards Serge became Boussard’s “informant” – actually Serge pays Boussard to keep an eye on things inside the police department, and the informant thing is just a front so they can meet. Bonny has it out for Serge, hires the blackmailer who comes to the theater during auditions to extort money from Stavisky by threatening to expose his past, and later engineers the police raid during which Stavisky shoots himself. Plus I always have to look hard to tell which Inspector is which, since they look and dress the same.
Inspectors Boussard (left, Marcel Cuvelier, also played an inspector in The War Is Over) and Bonny (right, Claude Rich, star of Je t’aime, je t’aime):
Bad Boy Bonny:
Michel Grandville (Jacques Spiesser of The Man Who Sleeps and Black and White in Color) and Erna Wolfgang (Silvia Badescu), who auditions for a part at Stavisky’s theater (he reads with her, playing a ghost – see quote below):
Lonsdale, after “Serge Alexandre” tells him to get rid of Stavisky and his problems: “The person he once was has become someone else: a ghost he despises. But a ghost who worries him.” And later: “To understand Stavisky sometimes you have to forget files. You have to dream of him and to imagine his dreams.”
Dream doctor Michel Lonsdale:
Gérard Depardieu got his break as a star just two months earlier. Here he has one scene as an excited young inventor trying to get Stavisky to invest in his product:
And back to Erna Wolfgang. I just liked this shot.
One more look at Thomas:
I wasn’t in love with the movie after I watched it, seemed like a really well-done portrayal of a controversial man with great acting and an over-complicated plot, but reading the book afterwards cleared up all the characters and the structure of the whole thing, and thinking back on the story, acting and photography, I’m now liking this better than The War Is Over. Nobody here is a good guy – not even Bonny, who goes against police corruption but for personal & political reasons – but the movie doesn’t judge them, or go into the details of the scandal. It just gets inside their characters and shows where the scandal came from, how one guy’s belief that he could fake his way into the upper echelon ended up shaking the country.
Not very Herzogian – the great man doesn’t interject any commentary of his own, letting his narrator (journalist Michael Goldsmith) do all the leading and interviewing, and not cutting away when Goldsmith follows up interview subjects’ stories of being imprisoned and tortured for years by order of Central African Republic dictator Jean-Bédel Bokassa with Goldsmith’s own oft-repeated story (“you know, I was imprisoned for a month myself”). Gives the feeling that it is the journalist’s film and Herzog is a director-for-hire, which is probably not true. The movie does, after all, end with a caged monkey smoking a cigarette, which isn’t a typical way to end a journalistic interview-doc. And it opens with Herzog himself reading a letter from Goldsmith over beautiful, otherworldly shots of migrating crabs. It’s just the bulk of the film in between those animal bookends that seems kind of typical.
Bokassa, fallen dictator:
Bokassa himself seems sadly typical – a military leader of an African country who took over the government, becoming more corrupt, horrible and bizarre as his rule progressed. We talk with a couple of his (many) wives and some kids, including one who was involved in a fraud/mistaken-identity comedy which led to her having a sister with the same name who got married on the same day as her.
Goldsmith survived torture and imprisonment in Central Africa, and returned safely from Liberia (where he had gone missing at the time of this film’s completion), only to die of a hemorrhage in late ’90, shortly before the film premiered.
Fascinating movie. I think Katy liked it too, though we were both a bit upset after she vetoed my triple-feature short-doc selection at the last damned minute.