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Menotti: The Consul – review

Muszely/Welitsch/Konetzni/Lane/Waechter/Vienna Volksoper Orchestra/Bauer-Theussl

(Arthaus Musik)

Gian Carlo Menotti's emotive 1950 opera about the soul-destroying nature of political bureaucracy is often seen as a cold war period piece, which ducks the complex issues it raises. Menotti always refused to associate the work with a specific political system, and his portrait of Magda Sorel – fleeing from a police state but thwarted by the consulate of the country that supposedly offers asylum – is as critical of the humanitarian failures of western democracies as of the former eastern bloc. This extraordinary film was made for Austrian TV in 1963. Directed by Rudolph Cartier, it's shot in relentless close-ups that give neither the performers nor the viewers anywhere to hide. Melitta Muszely charts Madga's progress from desperation to hope to suicidal despair with uncompromising veracity. There are equally impressive performances from Eberhard Waechter as her husband and Gloria Lane as the consular secretary,

See full article on The Guardian - Film News