The Seven Streams of the River Ota | Chicago Reader

The Seven Streams of the River Ota

Francis Leclerc's hour-long video, made for Canadian TV in 1997, thoughtfully and at times ingeniously captures the questing spirit and emotional spectrum of Robert Lepage's seven-hour theater saga. A compilation of key scenes scripted by Leclerc with Lepage?s assistance, this adaptation can hardly aspire to the source material's encyclopedic breadth or poetic languor; instead its seven vignettes present brief encounters among a dozen or so characters who are bonded, in one way or another, by the holocausts in Germany and Hiroshima (where the Ota River flows). Leclerc resorts to “opening up” the stage production by inserting location footage of Osaka and Hiroshima, but for the most part he stays true to Lepage's theatrical setup and singular vision.

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