Richard Wagner's operatic retelling of the story of the search for the Holy Grail receives a lavish production in this video, which records performances held in Bayreuth, St. Petersburg, and Ravello, Italy. Internationally renowned tenor Placido Domingo leads the distinguished cast; Tony Palmer directs. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Parsifal's central themes of spiritual awakening and redemption through the loss of self are continuously countermanded by very graphic negative interpretations of the anti-Semetic and proto-Nazi Wagner. Regardless of Wagner's often disturbing ideology - indeed, perhaps because of it - his artistic power and genius are complex, contradictory, and compelling to modern audiences. The film obscures this. Most importantly, however, is Wagner's musical genius. This is what Placido Domingo attempts to illuminate, and does so, only to be undone by intervening scenes of war, death, and starvation. While philosophically this approach may be defensible, artistically it is a disaster. The beautiful and visually stunning performance is thereby compromised, and the ambiguities of this historically and artistically significant masterpiece are not satisfactorily clarified, to the point of frustration. This film is a great effort and opportunity - wasted.
Beautiful music with some strong theology by Karen Armstrong.. It has some comic elements by monty Python actors. It makes a strong case for helping the hungry of the world -very graphic pictures of actual children in third world countries.
I found the commentary to be interesting, but it was edited in such a
way as to give little continuity to the
performances. Warning: be aware
that there are some very graphic and
disturbing scenes in the modern day
comparisons documented in this film.