Monday, September 17, 2012

Not a usage: Abuladze's *Repentance*

A 1999 article by M. Colakis argues that Tengiz Abuladze’s 1984 film, Repentance draws on the Antigone myth to teach contemporary audiences of the problems with Soviet tyranny. Abuladze, according to Colakis, critiques Soviet tyranny through intertextual application of the Antigone myth. While narrative similarities give one food for thought, Abuladze seems unaware of the connections to Antigone. 

Archetypal considerations underpin Colakis' analysis. In my opinion, the film does not qualify as a "usage" of classical myth.

If Abuladze’s narrative is derived from Antigone, he appears to have left no documentation to that effect. Colakis: “While no direct influence can be proven, it is not farfetched to see Abuladze as drawing on the Antigone.” (p. 73) There is no smoking gun. Nevertheless, Colakis argues in the conclusion that “Repentance draws on [the] myth,” and that “As the new political leaders of the former Soviet Union looked to the West for political/economic models, so did one of its new cinematic leaders look to an important Western myth to speak to a culture in transition.”

The “rules” of reception include “an acknowledged transposition of a recognizable work”. (Hutcheon, Adaptation, 8; my emphasis) For Abuladze’s narrative to stand as a usage of the Antigone myth, fewer divergences from the myth’s essential narrative strands and more convincing admission of authorial awareness ought to be manifest. 

Because Colakis' article is compelling, the film has a OGCMA reference number. The index allows me to place the discussion. My slide OGCMA0109NOTAntigone_Abuladze offers a link to Colakis' article in .pdf and to other pertinent items.

Colakis, M. "A Glasnost Antigone: Tengiz Abuladze's Repentance." Classical and Modern Literature 19 (1999), 173 - 78.  

No comments:

Post a Comment