Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is not your typical American Drama

 For a gender class my freshmen year I had to watch an American Musical drama called Hedwig and the Angry Inch, made in 2001. Now this film is definitely as confusing an strange as its title. The story is actually based off a German transgendered singer in a rock band. The main plot was about the German man, Hansel who loved another man but was not allowed to marry him because the law demanded they be a man a woman. So Hansel had a sex change surgery and her mother gave her her own name "Hedwig", along with her passport. The surgery was botched and left her with an "angry inch" of flesh between her legs, hence the title of the film.
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, they chose to flee to America. When they got there Luther left Hedwig. She dealt with this pain by forming a rock band. The dynamic of the band was pretty interesting. The bandmates would take turns making out with Hedwig, on stage and even behind close doors. It was all very strange and uncomfortable to watch, at least from my perspective.

        My favorite part of the movie, was how they incorporated the moving mythical, cartoon animations with in the musical scenes. The mythology that Hedwig believed in was very interesting on its own. She believed that when you are born, you are born a whole but at some point you are split in half and later in life you meet your other half. The rock songs that she sings are mostly about this myth and her longing of her other half. When she performs, there are many different cuts to these mythical drawings. 

        This film won the Best Director and Audience Awards at the Sundance Film Festival. The director was John Cameron Mitchell who also played the main role of Hedwig. Although I felt like the main storyline and very graphic songs were a little explicit, over all the after effects, bright color palette, flashbacks, and camera work were done very well. You definitely felt Hedwig's pain throughout the whole movie. 

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