The Magicians | Chicago Reader

The Magicians

In 1937, during the Spanish civil war, an amateur director made an elaborate silent film called Imitating the Fakir at a religious orphanage in a small town, with the orphans in exotic costumes playing all the roles. In this 2004 documentary Elisabet Cabeza (a daughter of one of the orphans) and Esteve Riambau (a film professor and major Orson Welles scholar) unpack this fascinating artifact in several ways, interviewing a half dozen of the participants and exploring the personal and historical ramifications of the material, particularly as they relate to the war. In Spanish with subtitles. 94 min.

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