Why Are You Crying, Antonio?

1988, 25 min, color, sound, German with English subtitles.

Chamberlain, Mussolini and their aides attend a 1938 performance of Macbeth in Rome. This audience is itself made into the raw material of opera. The site of the negotiations between Chamberlain and Hitler, which resulted in the invasion of Czechoslovakia, is diagrammed, and Chamberlain and his aides are charged with lack of fantasy, a fatal flaw. Meanwhile, in September 1939 a Nazi officer's happy love story is interrupted only to be resumed (we are told) in 1953, as he comes back from Soviet captivity. A film clip of two bodies in the midst of war devastation asks, "Why are you crying, Antonio? Are you afraid to die?" The theme of "a new beginning" is the fantasy outcome here, as a "film" in computer graphics shows a parade of French soldiers in 1918 celebrating the end of war in disbelief and hunger for freedom.

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