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Motion Pictures (Adaptation)

Don Quixote

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Saturday 12/14
7:00 pm
$9 General Public
$7 Students & Seniors
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dir. Grigori Kozintsev, Soviet Union, 1957, 35mm, Russian with English subtitles, 106 min.

This is a most satisfying adaptation of Spanish novelist Cervantes’ landmark work. It is a successful rendering of the legendary Don Quixote largely because of the splendid performance by the great Russian actor, Nikolai Cherkassov, in the title role. He is the perfect likeness to the old Spaniard, who has read so much literature on the Age of Chivalry that he dons armor and sets forth with his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, to fight for the oppressed of the world. Unfortunately, for all the good he tries to do, the results are usually the reverse of his intentions. He saves a boy from a whipping, only to have the boy get a worse beating when Quixote leaves him to move on to other “do good” endeavors. However, as portrayed with such finesse and dignity by Cherkassov, he makes Cervantes’s protagonist’s idealism believable and his character lovable. Quixote rises above the people who make fun of him, particularly the Duke and Duchess’s cruel scheme to use Quixote as the butt of their jokes, and make them come off as fools for being so vacuous.