Waiting for the Barbarians Poster

Waiting for the Barbarians

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Waiting for the Barbarians Overview

At an isolated frontier outpost, a colonial magistrate suffers a crisis of conscience when an army colonel arrives looking to interrogate the locals about an impending uprising, using cruel tactics that horrify the magistrate.

Directed by: Ciro Guerra

Who Stars in Waiting for the Barbarians

Mark Rylance
The Magistrate

Mark Rylance

Johnny Depp
Colonel Joll

Johnny Depp

Robert Pattinson
Officer Mandel

Robert Pattinson

David Dencik
The Clerk

David Dencik


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Review for Waiting for the Barbarians

Author: Louisa Moore - Screen Zealots

Adapted by Nobel Prize winning author J.M. Coetzee from his own book, “Waiting for the Barbarians” is a timely screen retelling of the darkest (and most the most cruel) aspects of colonialism. This period film sadly reflects issues many are dealing with in present day: a society that’s relentless in its quest to oppress “the other.” An isolated frontier settlement on the border of an unnamed empire sets the stage for the epic story of a Magistrate (Mark Rylance), a kind soul who lives a routine existence respecting the rule of law, and the disquieting arrival of Colonel Joll (Johnny Depp), a menacing man that quickly turns things upside down. Joll and his minions (including Robert Pattinson as Officer Mandel) have been tasked with reporting the activities of the ‘barbarians’ — and their methods are ruthless. The Colonel terrorizes people during violent interrogations, causing the Magistrate to question his own loyalty to the empire. Eventually, he embraces kindness and attempts to rescue a young woman (Gana Bayarsaikhan) who has been abused by Joll and return her to her family. The script is laid out appropriately, with clear introductions of the characters and an easy-to-follow story. The film is told in chapters and seasons (“The Return,” set in the Spring, is the most visually stunning). It’s filled with pretty shots (from director Ciro Guerra) and gorgeous cinematography (by Chris Menges), and the period set design and costumes are as detailed as they are handsome. It’s not difficult at all to overlook the (sometimes) slow pacing because the film is so well directed. Every performance here is stellar as well, with a standout turn from Rylance. He makes it easy for viewers to sympathize with his character’s lone beacon of compassion in a violent world. He brings the idea about the way empires feel they must invent enemies to remain relevant to the most basic human level, and that’s what ultimately becomes so effective about “Waiting for the Barbarians.”


Images related to Waiting for the Barbarians

Waiting for the Barbarians small poster
Waiting for the Barbarians small poster
Waiting for the Barbarians small poster
Waiting for the Barbarians small poster
Waiting for the Barbarians small poster
Waiting for the Barbarians small poster
Waiting for the Barbarians small poster
Waiting for the Barbarians small poster
Waiting for the Barbarians small backdrop
Waiting for the Barbarians small backdrop
Waiting for the Barbarians small backdrop
Waiting for the Barbarians small backdrop
Waiting for the Barbarians small backdrop
Waiting for the Barbarians small backdrop
Waiting for the Barbarians small backdrop
Waiting for the Barbarians small backdrop

Production

AMBI Group

Infinitum Nihil logo
Infinitum Nihil

Ithaca Pictures

Iervolino Entertainment

Samuel Goldwyn Films logo
Samuel Goldwyn Films


Facts

Status
Released

Release Date
2019-09-06

Original Language
English

Runtime
1 hr 54 mins

Revenue
$ 761,361.00 (USA)

Genres
Drama History

Keywords
colony torture desert colonization east asia


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