Satantango ★★★★

Don’t trust anyone who says the “7 hours go by so quickly!” No. The film is slow and agonizing. It’s bleak and disgusting. It’s filled with flies and piss and mangy dogs and streets where trash blows around like tumbleweeds. It makes you feel sick and nauseous. The characters sit around and wait. So Many Agonizingly long scenes of people waiting for…what exactly? For some ending, some escape, some closure, some death. It feels at many times like a Samuel Beckett play, only told more visually rather than through dialogue. It’s just so hopeless. A society that just…crumbled. The fall of the Soviet Union was a huge tragedy that lead to one of the sharpest decreases in human lifespan in modern history. But it also represented a loss of hope throughout the rest of the world, including countries like Cuba who had to survive the US blockade without the aid of another larger nation. It represented the victory of western neoliberalism, which is now seems to be leading us all to our deaths - whether through nuclear war as the USA refuses to accept its failing role as an imperial power or because our desires for profit and overproduction of earths’ resources will lead us to climate collapse…the fall of the USSR (however imperfect this nation was) and the subsequent victory of western neoliberalism just feels like a long drawn out tragedy (ironically I’m writing this as the students in the class I’m substitute teaching for are watching a “documentary” about WWI where it describes the Russian revolution as a great tragedy for the majority of Russians who lost their ‘privileges…’ privileges to what exactly??). But here, this movie really just shows the hopelessness of a small group of people who are abandoned by this huge societal collapse. They live on, obsessed with money, desperate for money which matters so little…it’s just so bleak. I don’t see myself ever really rewatching it. It’s just really disturbing to see and sit through…

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