Talented Iranian director Sohrab Shahid Saless has succeeded in taking on an unusual project -- the life and times of a German literary figure -- and making it interesting. Christian Dietrich Grabbes lived a very short life in the first half of the 19th century and is primarily known for his satire, skepticism, basurd theater, and the fact that he presaged the Postmodern movement in literature. Hannibal and Don Juan and Faust are two of his better-known works. In this docudrama, his Comedy, Satire, Irony, and Deeper Meaning is featured partly because it gives a drubbing to the icons of German thought that had a stranglehold on the creative process. One memorable moment in this three-and-a-half-hour story is when the alcoholic writer is caught in the throes of delirium and comes around to see his own mother as a figure of death. The irony is that an Iranian director could capture the spirit and age of a German writer so well.
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