His other plays include Hydriotaphia, Slavs! In the early s, Kushner began writing for film. His co-written screenplay Munich was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg in The film was directed by Freida Lee Mock.
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Shelves: reading-resolution Premiering in , this fantastical and dense saga about the AIDS epidemic was written with the emotion and rawness of someone living in the middle of it. Angels in America uses the individual lives and dramas of specific men and Angels in America uses the individual lives and dramas of specific men and women to tell sweeping, sometimes-cosmic stories about hope, love, humanity, and faith.
The pair of three-hour plays can seem dense and unapproachable, but they never lose the connection to real characters that keep the audience engaged. Not only because of the rich, dense language it uses…but because only someone with the success of Angels in America behind him would be able to get away with something like this without an editor reining them in.
She is only known as Homebody and she speaks like she has eaten a thesaurus, but it is an engaging start. In the second half, her husband Milton and adult daughter Priscilla are actually in Kabul, but to pick up her body. Milton and Priscilla are left to hack through the tangled web Homebody has left behind, a morass of personal, historical, and globally political cross-purposes.
That is interesting in some ways, but Kushner loses the personal far too quickly. Each character, especially many of the Afghani characters, feel like they have one trait and one trait only.
Perhaps a strong cast could bring life and grounding into the work, but as written, it feels more like an aesop. Seeing it instead of reading it would also present its own challenges, as large chunks of the script are spoken in Pastun, Dari and French. Translations are presented in side-notes, but do not appear to be intended for performance. But taking figures that already feel thin, and then leaving them untranslated, is a lot of distance to put between the audience and the characters. But it is the nature of experiments to sometimes fail, and I think this one stumbles where other works of his have soared.
Would I Recommend It: No.
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Cold, unappealing central characters sustain interest on a cerebral level without making us care if they survive or solve their conflicts. Her disappearance is keenly felt in the subsequent two acts, when news arrives of her murder while on a mysterious trip to Kabul. Husband Milton Reed Birney and daughter Priscilla Maggie Gyllenhaal travel there to claim the body, at which point Priscilla begins to suspect her mother is still alive. She enlists the help of guide and poet Khwaja Firdous Bamji and learns from Afghan ex-actor Zai Garshi Dariush Kashani , a worshipper like her mother of Frank Sinatra songs, that her mother has married a Muslim and intends to cut all ties with her former family. The Kabul hotel interior and exteriors of shattered streets are spotlighted strikingly on a revolving stage.