Directed by Peter Brook
Running time: 116 minutes
This is a film full of paradox and wild energy. Early on the divine Marquis, in an impassioned soliloquy, tells us that death is "part of the process" of life; "making the compost" and that even the cruellest human death is nothing when compared with the 'indifference of nature, this passionless spectator". Here is the film of a play about freedom played by persons who are doubly unfree not only "not in command of their faculties' but also locked up in their prison asylum. Yet at its heart is a plea for the right of the individual over and above whatever the state might enshrine in a Declaration of the Rights of Man. Marat always in his bath is rounded on by a sex-maniac ex-aristocrat in a straight jacket; "now Marat I see where your Revolution is leading; to the killing of the individual man, to the death of love, to deadly weakness in a state which has no contact with the individual but is impregnable !"
Antony Gormley 2013
Marat / Sade (1966) (full title: The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade) is Peter Brook's 1967 film adaptation of his Royal Shakespeare Company production of a 1964 play by German Modernist Peter Weiss. A play within a play, the film stars almost the same cast as the stage production, with Ian Richardson, Patrick Magee as De Sade and Glenda Jackson in one of the defining moments of her career, as assassin Charlotte Corday. The movie is a study in power, revolution and control, set in the Charenton Insane Asylum in 1808 after the French Revolution. The new liberal governor of the asylum has allowed Marquis de Sade to direct a play using his fellow inmates, about the last hours of Revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat before his assassination. Although the Napoleonic director approves of the play, the cast deviate from their lines and chaos ensues while De Sade quietly listens from the sidelines. Based on historical fact since De Sade did indeed direct performances at Charenton, Marat / Sade is one of the best ever screen adaptations of a stage play by an iconic and visionary director.
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