Satantango

Satantango ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Instead of a review, below are my raw thoughts as to an interpretation of Satantango. This film is so unique and complete that it becomes something like a cosmic theater piece through the lens of a camera. This is also almost certainly the only film that terrifies me in its implications, I almost don't want to know what it means for fear of a minotaur lying in the middle of the maze. But I say I almost don't want to know, so with that in mind I don't just invite you, I beg you to please offer me what your interpretation of the film is.

Who or what does Irimiás represent? I think he is obviously intended to be a Christ figure or perhaps more accurately Anti-Christ figure, but in all of his conning serpentine deceit he may just be unimportant or at the least a simple pawn.This film seems to take place in not only a post-communist Hungary, but really a Hungary in which time has been lost. Furthermore the government who may or may not be seeking to make the villagers into additional Irimiás' are presented as ordinary or even slovenly individuals just doing a job. Is that the nature of evil in the realm of humanity, a striving for commonplace duty which culminates in atrocity? The village is doomed whether the film shows their destruction or not; so as Estike tortures the cat, is mislead by her brother into stupid greed, and dies by her own hand, so must the village pay for their 'taking no note' and their greed.

Irimiás may have died, but akin to the central question of Last Year at Marienbad-'What year at where?' After so many repetitions time may fold in on itself, so that a beginning point or an end point become lost within the construct itself, never being able to be sussed out, and impossible to know if this is simply a cosmic prolapse of meaning -a mistake that cannot be escaped. This village is in between apocalypses. The spiders only weave when there is inactivity, yet the job of the spider is to attack by binding those who would be caught in the web, leaving an ethereal strand to be latched onto. Irimiás is an ethereal being and the web is all quite literal even if it is surreal. The real menace imbued into Satantango comes from the bells, those inexplicable harbingers that mock and seduce. The Doctor shuts himself in and nothing changes, he will still succumb to vice, the story will start again as the circle closes, and the bells continue to ring.

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