Nate Legaspi’s review published on Letterboxd:
I thought about the concept of nihilism even before the start of the pandemic. The situation was just a backdrop to my ongoing saga of the belief that life has no meaning. We stood in this world by crawling and eventually will fall at the end of it. We draw meaning with other people’s life—as it’s the only way we know how to celebrate a life that has a beginning and an ending. Eventually, those meaning will cease to exist when the big blue is once extinguished by the great Amman. It is our desire for immortality to keep history and transfer stories with our tongue that has kept mankind alive.
Our fear of authority and religious figures—did it made humanity intact? I feel that it has made us more nihilistic. The caste system, the rung of classes, and the classification of ethnicity via superiority seriously commanded those fear. That we classically look down on other living beings as below us and justifiably exert our control over a living being. I, too, felt that way at some point. That a small animal is the only way I can have control over—that I would exert my control of companionship irrespective of their own free will. Is free will an absence of influence? At some point, Futaki may seem like he had total free will but his fear of Irimias demonstrate how it can derail his thoughts. His free will at the end was dictated by his fear. Are we to subject ourselves to fear? Fear has always dictated our path. Fear of death, fear of the everlasting fires of hell, fear of a loving God, and the fear of someone we deemed superior upon our person.
Sátántangó was a difficult film to watch. It took me stretches of days and sometimes taking a breather. The bleakness of the film made my nihilistic thought more prevalent as the film progress. It stays in my headspace for days as I fear to face how the film will end. In the end, the acceptance of death and drawing your meaning with your life somehow prevails. I can’t say if I can muster the strength to rewatch Sátántangó in the coming years. Maybe when I figured out my meaning in this life, perhaps then, will I have the courage to face this film again?