A stew of jingoist propaganda, operatic staging, folk broadness, and occasional heart stopping images (the silent women with torches searching the field of dead soldiers, the vulture monk playing his tiny organ outdoors). Seems to come from an alien planet.
The race to the top as a comic Beckettian existential slog. I didn't plan on thinking about the primordial mud of "How It Is" during this film. The Pal running off into the endless distance, to be eternally pursued by the Law and eternally (mistakenly) believing himself to be just on the verge of an escape that will never come.
Also, gender relations depicted as mediated by a transactional madness--often across a literal retail counter.
Opens and closes with macabre parallel gags--prison bars and a noose followed by shoes and socks stuck in black roofing tar.