Pasolini's tragic chorus

Bruno C. Duarte

During the second half of the 1960s, among such works as King Oedipus (1967) and Medea (1969), Pasolini planned to direct a film-poem "about the Third World". From this "sort of documentary, an essay", in his own words, several fragments have remained on film. Among them are the Notes towards an African Oresteia (1968-69), an effort to transpose Aeschylus' work onto post-colonial modern Africa - and therefore to arrive at the projection and displacement of tragic form and myth onto an extraneous space and time that intrinsically tend to resist it. In the context of this project, Pasolini's ambition to revive and relocate the ancient Greek chorus in several "real, realistic, daily situations" of 20th century Africa remains especially relevant not only to reassess the essentially paradoxical figure of a modern tragic chorus, but also to reconsider the construction of dramatic space as well as the concept of representation in general.

Ancient/Modern; Tragic Chorus; Greek Tragedy; Oresteia; Cinema


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