Marat/ Sade 1967 ***

The full title says it all; director Peter Brook’s 1967 film is also known as The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade. Adapted from Peter Weiss’s play, Brook’s film sees the inhabitants of an asylum putting on a theatrical version of Marat’s death, with Patrick Magee ideally cast as De Sade.  The boisterous nature of the performance is noticed by the guards, and soon a mini-revolution is on the cards. Peppered with familiar faces (Glenda Jackson, Ian Richardson, Freddie Jones), Brook’s film is essentially a record of a theatrical performance, but no less impressive for that; it’s a film that deals with the nature of revolution in a way that’s unashamedly political, but doesn’t lack much in terms of songs and dances, notably from Jackson.


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