Death and the Maiden Film Analysis

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Death and the Maiden

Directed by Roman Polanski

Death and the Maiden is the type of movie where everything is done a certain way for a certain reason. Director Roman Polanski's genius portrayal of Ariel Dorfman's stage play delivers a powerful and haunting message of human rights violations in an unnamed South American country coming to terms with the atrocities of its past after the fall of a fascist government. This film captivates audiences with its disturbing allegations and suspenseful twists. The film's setting, acting, directing, and music so vividly add to the movies powerful messages of human rights violations and injustices. The films title Death and the Maiden is named after Franz Schubert's string quartet in D minor known as Death and the Maiden. The song symbolizes the atrocities committed to Paulina Escobar and countless others, both men and women, during their detainment where their human rights were violated. The song was played to sooth and relax Paulina before and after she was viciously raped by Dr. Robert Miranda. It is used in the film at several points, including the beginning and the ending. The movie starts with the song as a representation that the atrocities are occurring or have occurred before the first scene, some years after. During the film the song is reintroduced as Paulina finds the song on tape in Dr. Miranda's car, further appealing to her suspicions. As a reminder to Dr. Miranda of when he raped Paulina the song was played throughout the interrogation process to mimic the original setting. The first time she has bared it since she was raped. At the films end all three parties, Dr. Miranda, Paulina Escobar, and Gerardo Escobar are at the theater listening to the song band being played live. The different parties are very much aware of each other and it is the song Death and the Maiden that brings them together and their tragic intertwined pasts to an end. Polanski directs this film on the interactions between three...
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