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Gates to Paradise. 15 June 2019. 2:30 pm.




GATES TO PARADISE (Dir. Andrzej Wajda, 1968)

German with English Subtitles

116 min

Lionel Stander, Mathieu Carrière


Based on a true story, and a genuinely strange turn in European history, the film follows the Children’s Crusade of the year 1212, when a young boy in Germany persuaded a number of children to join him in a Christian crusade to liberate Jerusalem from muslim control. The group first headed for Rome, with the intention of seeing the Pope to get his blessing. As they walked across Europe, dozens of other boys and girls abandoned their homes to join them. Some people believe that this event inspired the folk tale of the ‘Pied Piper of Hamelin’. In Wajda’s film, we accompany the adolescents as they march, and we get to know their messianic leader, and witness the queer emotional and erotic bonds that drive this unthinking army. Somehow, in the process, the story becomes a sociological analysis of cross-currents in groups, and an abstract meditation on the journey of life.


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