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The Pied Piper

Directed by Jacques Demy.
With Donovan, Jack Wild, Donald Pleasence.
UK/US, 1972, DCP, color, 91 min.

Somewhat of a return to the fairy tale land of Donkey Skin, Demy’s subsequent film is likewise filled with song and childlike magic, yet darkness prevails. British pop star Donovan makes his only fiction film appearance as the title character who charms all the animals and children of the somber-toned, medieval hamlet, yet cannot change the corrupt hearts of the ruling class, the church or even the frightened townspeople. Introducing the black plague into the centuries’ old story, Demy also paints grotesque, sinister portraits of Klan-like Catholic priests and monstrous leaders who terrorize the carefree, joyful bohemians and artists—even when they are of obviously valuable service. His insertion of a subversive alchemist who is Jewish conjures all kinds of modern-day plagues and persecutions which flourish due to fear, prejudice and greed.

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Once Upon a Song... Jacques Demy

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