At an isolated frontier outpost, a colonial magistrate (Rylance) of an unnamed empire suffers a crisis of conscience when an army colonel (Depp) arrives, intending to interrogate the locals about a suspected impending uprising, using cruel tactics that horrify the magistrate.
I found this beautifully shot film on Prime.
Official trailer – imdb.com/video/vi2417147417
An allegory can represent a hidden meaning with moral or political significance. Authors have used allegories throughout history to illustrate complex ideas and concepts in ways that are striking for its viewers. Waiting for the Barbarians is an allegory about corrupt minds and demeaning attitudes that produce hateful feelings, twisted minds, fear and disgust. Hateful people are still around today. They are still spreading their superiority gospel.
Most people wouldn’t know Mark Rylance if you showed them dozens and dozens of photographs of the actor and his roles. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched and admired him in Bridge of Spies. In both Spies and Barbarians, he plays a quiet man who believes in what he does. His character draws the eyes toward him.
“Adapted by Nobel Prize winning author J.M. Coetzee from his own book, “Waiting for the Barbarians” is a timely screen retelling of the darkest (and the most cruel) aspects of colonialism.” – Wikipedia
“The metaphors are a bit too numerous and on the nose at times, but Rylance’s unbelievable performance overshadows the minor downfalls.” – The Play List
Colonialism then and now:
Set in the 19th century in an unnamed Asian frontier post, this story describes how imperialism and colonialism disrupt the lives of ordinary people. Mark Rylance is the magistrate of a peaceful settlement where the biggest crime is a pig invading a neighbor’s garden. Brilliant acting and an excellent script are based on the prize winning novel.
Johnny Depp is the sinister policeman from the capital who suspects a rebellion and uses torture to get “confessions”. A young nomadic girl, one of his victims, is befriended by the magistrate. The story is well told and the scenery is spectacular – vast deserts and mountains. Although set in the past, what the film does very well is show that the methods of the policeman, the attitude of the empire, and the whole issue of race and occupation are as relevant today as then. This is an allegory of what is happening in the Middle East, the Congo, the Ukraine and elsewhere – at this very moment.
Looks and attitudes can be deceiving. Actions speak for themselves. Johnny Depp is the strong man who is weak; Mark Rylance is the meek man who is strong.