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Theater of War, closing at Film Forum today

Rosler, "Cleaning the Drapes", 1967-72, photomontage, dimensions unknown.  Via
Martha Rosler, Cleaning the Drapes, 1967-72, photomontage, dimensions unknown. Via

Theater of War
Various showtimes
Through today, Tuesday 6 January 2009
Film Forum - 209 W Houston St, New York NY

Today marks the last chance for New Yorkers to see John Walter's well received documentary film essay, Theater of War, just finishing its premier two-week run at Film Forum. The work is a contemporary and moving search for the historical figure of Bertolt Brecht by way of a recent staging of one of his better known plays. It attempts, in its multiple and parallel approaches, to get at both the artist and the committed political subject behind the work -- the lifelong leftist whose legacy has been installed at the center of so many conversations on the necessity, efficacy and futility of politics in art. Helping Walter get there is Meryl Streep rehearsing for the Public Theater's 2006 production of Mother Courage, Tony Kushner riding his bicycle, Jay Cantor talking remedial Marx for Americans and a cast of associated persons involved in the production. Woven delicately throughout all this is thoughtful narrative looking in one glance back at the century which was Brecht's, and, in another, to the more local reality of life in Bush's America. For more information please see Manohla Dargis' NYT review, or the film's trailer, available on Film Forum's website.