Saturday, November 07, 2009

Movie Recommendation: "Protagonist"

Last night I didn't have to work and felt I could take a break from schoolwork long enough to watch a movie or two. I'd been promising my daughter I'd watch "My Bodyguard" with her. I was able to check it out at the local library, and we enjoyed it. I hadn't seen it since it was released in 1980, when I was a freshman in college. I chuckled when I realized that my first apartment of my own after college was right down the street from Lakeview High School in Chicago, where much of the movie was filmed.

Afterward, I watched a movie I'd Netflixed and saved to a hard drive to watch when I had time, Protagonist. This documentary, filmed by Jessica Wu, is about how four men, who follow wildly different life paths, each live out a Euripedean drama in their lives. Each of the four men are fascinating on their own:

  • Mark Pierpoint, a former minister who claimed at one time that evangelical Christianity "saved" him from his homosexuality

  • Joe Loya, a guy from middle class background who was physically abused by his father, and becomes a bank robber.

  • Mark Salzman (the husband of Jessica Wu, the director) who finds temporary salvation in martial arts

  • Hans Joachim-Klein, a German who becomes a terrorist

Each of these men find themselves playing out a role, and each of them are ultimately faced with truths about themselves and that role. Watching this movie, I couldn't help but look inward and think about the roles I play and have played in life, and the transitions I've made. I suspect that most people who watch this will do the same. I highly recommend this documentary.


Some Guy said...

I agree, JY. It's a great film. I'd also recommend another Jessica Wu film, In The Realms Of The Unreal.

Johnny Yen said...

Some Guy-- I was trying to remember where I got the recommendation for that one-- must have been you. Thanks!

Erik Donald France said...

Yes, wasn't me; hadn't heard of this until you wondered.

Churlita said...

that sounds good. I'll have to check it out.