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Protagonist2007

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  • 4.1
PROTAGONIST explores extremism through contrasting stories of personal revelation. The film features four individuals who have been devoted to personal odysseys (a cause, a quest, an ideal) to the point of total consumption. At first glance, the characters appear disconnected: a former German terrorist, an “ex-gay” evangelist, a bank robber and a martial arts student. But as their stories unfold, one starts to see the parallels between the "uncommon" common experience of these four men. Each character embarks on a journey for valid reasons only to find himself so deeply embedded in the cause that he becomes the opposite of what he had intended. He is blind to this fact, though, until the forces of fate and character boil and distill to a single moment of dark epiphany. In telling this echoing story, the film asks: what is the path to extremism? In responding to the turmoil of life, where does one draw the line between the reasonable and the unreasonable? And how does one recover from the delusion of certainty?

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Official selection of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.


1 member likes this review

could have done with far fewer animated/puppet interludes. endorsement of inhumane prison practices that worked wonders for one unusual criminal-type was very troubling. the overarching catharsis paradigm, even, is something I had to question in at least one other instance, and certainly as a general principle. all that said, I was completely fascinated/hooked and loved hearing these 4 guys' amazing stories. certainly liked this film much much more than the Henry Darger doc Ms. Yu made years ago.

E74c44940ab813caecf0eabaea0e59b6?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2ffemale%2favatar f 0027
top reviewer

Member Reviews (3)

E74c44940ab813caecf0eabaea0e59b6?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2ffemale%2favatar f 0027
top reviewer

could have done with far fewer animated/puppet interludes. endorsement of inhumane prison practices that worked wonders for one unusual criminal-type was very troubling. the overarching catharsis paradigm, even, is something I had to question in at least one other instance, and certainly as a general principle. all that said, I was completely fascinated/hooked and loved hearing these 4 guys' amazing stories. certainly liked this film much much more than the Henry Darger doc Ms. Yu made years ago.

1 member likes this review

Startling profiles of four characters. The inter-titled poetry and puppetry was well done. An impressive look at the complexity of men.

Odd and enthralling. Tying these four stories to Euripides takes a bit of adjusting to, but it works, and its message has the added virtue of being true. Certainty in life is a dangerous thing.