Proteus | Chicago Reader

Proteus

Known for his work on gay subjects and for his neo-Brechtian strategies, Canadian filmmaker John Greyson teamed up with South African video activist Jack Lewis for this eclectic period narrative, based on a 1735 sodomy trial that led to the execution of a Dutch sailor (Neil Sandilands) and a Hottentot (Rouxnet Brown). The original trial transcript was translated from Middle Dutch to Afrikaans and then into English; the translation process is part of a distancing strategy that also includes deliberate anachronisms and, for better and for worse, periodically recalls some of the archness of Peter Greenaway. Greyson directed a script he cowrote with Lewis, who also produced. In Afrikaans and Nama with subtitles. 97 min.

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