091 – In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

spacetime coordinates: 1892–1973 Chicago, Illinois, U.S. 

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In the Realms of the Unreal is a 2004 documentary film directed by Jessica Yu about American outsider artist Henry Darger.

An obscure janitor during his life, Darger is known for the posthumous discovery of his elaborate 15,145-page fantasy manuscript entitled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred watercolor paintings and other drawings illustrating the story.

The film’s style is atypical of a documentary. Because there are only three known photographs of Darger, and because of his reclusive lifestyle, the film is mostly a narrated biographical account, accompanied by animated versions of events from his magnum opus, which is also surveyed in detail. Interviews with his few neighbors and other acquaintances are included.

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In the last entry in his diary, he wrote: “January 1, 1971. I had a very poor nothing like Christmas. Never had a good Christmas all my life, nor a good new year, and now… I am very bitter but fortunately not revengeful, though I feel should be how I am…”

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088 – Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

spacetime coordinates:  1945   Newport News, VirginiaFort Jackson, South Carolina,  island of Okinawa  in the Japanese Ryukyu Islands

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Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 biographical war drama film about the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, an American pacificist combat medic who was a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, refusing to carry or use a firearm or weapons of any kind. Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for service above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Okinawa.Desmond Doss 1Desmond Doss 2

Historical accuracy

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040 – georgica (1998)

spacetime coordinate: post-World War II Estonia

Georgica is a 1998 Estonian drama film directed by Sulev Keedus. The film takes its name from Virgil‘s poem of the same name.

The action takes place in post-World War II Estonia. An old man lives alone on a deserted island which the Soviet fighter planes use for nighttime target practicing. A young neglected boy, who has become mute, is banished from the mainland and sent to the island to keep the old man company. Both are haunted by memories, the boy about his mother and the old man about the years before World War I he spent as a missionary in Africa.

Jakub: If you want to live and survive… then wait… Wait…and do what you’ve got to do. And then…wait again… This is the best thing you can do in this world…
I have seen it and I can tell you… You may push but only slightly… And then wait again… And you’ll live your life – and eat bread and honey… I eat honey –
and translate this old Vergil into Swahili… And I make silage for the animals on the continent… And you too will start talking when the right time has come…
(…) This end of the wax cylinder, it’s still quite empty… This is for you… Then later you can hear what your voice was like – when you were on the island – with an old man, a horse and some bees…

029 – silence (2016)

spacetime coordinate: St. Paul’s College, Macau  17th century Nagasaki, Japan

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Silence is a 2016 religious historical epic drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Jay Cocks and Scorsese, based upon the 1966 novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō. Set in Nagasaki, Japan, the film was shot entirely in Taiwan around Taipei. The film stars Andrew Garfield (as Sebastião Rodrigues), Adam Driver (as Francisco Garupe), Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano and Ciarán Hinds.

The plot follows two 17th century Jesuit priests who travel from Portugal to Japan to locate their missing mentor (Father Cristóvão Ferreira) and spread Catholic Christianity. The story is set in the time of Kakure Kirishitan (“Hidden Christians”) which followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion (1637–1638) of Japanese Roman Catholics against the Tokugawa shogunate.

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father Rodrigues is fascinated by the face of Jesus Christ and visualizes it in the form of this portrait by El Greco

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009 – Kingdom of Heaven 2005 (director’s cut)

spacetime coordinate: 1184 France,  the Holy Land

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what we are, you will be

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The story is set during the Crusades of the 12th century. A French village blacksmith goes to aid the Kingdom of Jerusalem in its defence against the Ayyubid Muslim sultan Saladin, who is battling to claim the city from the Christians leading to the Battle of Hattin. The film script is a heavily fictionalised portrayal of the life of Balian of Ibelin (ca. 1143–93).

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