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Belladonna1989

  • 2.6
BELLADONNA, co-directed with artist Ida Applebroog, is a disturbing composite-drawing of the face of violence in our society, establishing its linkages to family, culture and, ultimately, social organization. A number of somber talking heads frankly describe their most personal and perverse attitudes on sex, violence and other family matters. This is a fiction (based on documentary material) that looks like an experimental film. Along with the phrase spoken by a child, "I'm not a bad person," which repeats throughout the piece, we hear different individuals speaking texts that disturb and threaten alternating with expressions of affection that veil a violent subtext. The actors are reciting lines from horrifying, but authentic, texts drawn from the words of Joel Steinberg, the New York lawyer convicted of murdering his child in Greenwich Village; excerpts from Sigmund Freud’s essay "A Child is Being Beaten" and texts by survivors of Dr. Josef Mengele's medical experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

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