Jerry McGlothlin’s review published on Letterboxd:
“The clocks show two different times — both wrong, of course. One too slow, the other shows the perpetuity of defenselessness.”
A place left behind—stuck in a perpetual nexus wherein the metaphysical barrier between time and space has lapsed, leaving only an infinite rotation on a tilted axis.
A village divided by good and evil, motion and stasis, holiness and godlessness, cruelty and neglect. What remains is the hollow shell of a population, sauntering drunkenly towards nihility, indifferent to the suffering of their own creation.
A purgatorial existence; just close enough to Heaven to hear its euphonious bells ring out, but no further from Hell then a dance with the Devil himself while their whole world burns at their feet.
A marginalized herd forgotten entirely by the rest of the world, left to be led on an exodus into the void by wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Fragile is our nature. It is dictated by things we cannot control and the vulnerability which we occasionally find ourselves susceptible to can leave us profoundly unguarded against the sinister forces that govern our environment. Evil seizes power wherever it can, but this does not mean that good cannot prosper; it simply means that good takes effort in numbers. If a population—no matter how small or seemingly insignificant—loses all hope, it is easy for evil to creep its way into every aspect of their lives, but that is why it is absolutely imperative not to allow yourself to become overtaken by bleak insouciance in the face of hardship and worldly abandonment. Sátántangó is not a hopelessly nihilistic work; it is a harrowing warning against forfeiture and a promotion of fortitude. People have more power than they know, but power is susceptible to usurpation by wrongdoers as it can so easily be manipulated and used as a tool for personal gain or worse: far-reaching destruction.
More than anything though, Sátántangó shows the effects of time on a community forgotten; eroding away like a crumbling estate, vacated out of desperation and boarded up to escape the pain. But the spirit of its inhabitants always remains; like a displaced spectre, awaiting the return of the rest of the flock. It’s also about the subjectivity of one’s perception of reality; how each individual experiences time in their own unique way depending on their past and their situational awareness. The circle which shapes the exact duration of time is just that: a circle. Though there may be no escaping the inherent cyclicality and order of life, there is a possibility for its betterment and purification out there; you just have to strive towards it. If you don’t, the effects can be catastrophic, even fatal, because just as the beauties of life are present in everything, so are the horrors, and these traumas do not just dissipate with time—they become hereditary, ubiquitous and unceasing in their repetition if given the chance to breed and fester in a disordered temporal microcosm.
A light creeps in through the dark—no matter how faintly perceptible—there is enough light in the world to transcend the darkness… it is up to us to capture it, in spite of the countless obstacles, viscous cycles and mendacious deceivers we will find ourselves faced with.
“And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Revelation 12:9