Palingenetic myth and the making of Trump Train and Modi Wave

          The 2014 Modi campaign in India and the 2016 Trump campaign in the USA possess essential elements which are identifiably palingenetic – harbouring and propagating ideas of rebirth and regeneration of a nation dispossessed of it’s ‘former pride and glory’, appealing to the ‘true patriots’ (often steeped in ultra-nationalistic fervour) to rise in devoted support of the heroic male figure, a figure anointed as the only hope of a nation beleaguered on multiple fronts. Read More…

Werner Herzog: Stroszek. 1977. (Germany)

The inimitable Werner Herzog is generally known to take on film projects that are more than challenging, both in terms of production and realization, and that also involves working with actors who are ‘difficult’ to say the least. Herzog’s ‘Stroszek‘ from 1977 is a meditative cinematic triumph and remains a prominent film moment from the last century. Putting together an accomplished actor (Eva Mattes) with a non actor (the unforgettable Bruno S.), Herzog weaves a tale in the mode of a grand existential tragedy, pitching in moments of raw pathos along with reflective soul searching for the truth. In telling the story of characters in the fringes of human society – an alcoholic, a prostitute, an elderly eccentric, and their earnest quest for a more respectable, happy life via the american dream, Herzog paints a USA, and a human condition we would rather not acknowledge. Therein lies his directorial brilliance. Watch.

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