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Spectacular 'The Dance of Reality' at San Francisco Opera Plaza

The Dance of Reality


The Dance of Reality (Chile 2013) by filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky is a cinematic opera of his life as a Ukrainian Jew growing up in Tocopilla, Chile. The film was shown at last year’s Cannes Film Festival alongside "Jodorowsky's Dune"in the Director's Fornight section.

Alejandro Jodorowky's 'The Dance of Reality'
Courtesy of Festival de Cannes, used with permission

The 85-year-old Jodorowsky appears in film as a mentor to himself as a young boy. His own son plays the boy’s father. The difficult parts of his life growing up as an outsider are shown in a dramatic chorus style with Chileans, often bearing umbrellas in the countryside, who are impoverished and outcast from their own society. They also serve the voices of provincialism for Alejandro's family and observe their activities. Alejandro's parents are shopkeepers and keep their distance from the decadence they observe.

Jodorowsky’s father is afraid of his son’s effeminate nature, his long hair, his bright red shoes, and his compassion for the suffering of the people. His father also tries to help out the peasants by bringing water rations on his cattle driven cart, and to his dismay his cattle are eaten by the hungry and thirsty Chileans.

The film is spectacular and stunningly beautiful and the artistic way in which Jodorowsky arranges his life and the methods of story telling is excellent. There are many graphic scenes in the film depicting pestilence, and expressions of sexuality, themes that Jodorowsky is known for in his art house work. "The Dance of Reality" is his first film in 23 years, and the autobiographical theme is something he has always wanted to do.