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October 18, 1999 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-18

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*Poetry ain
Ann Waid man and Ron lPa-gett read at Rackham Amitheater.
As part of the Alternative Press Sympos;ium. Waidman and
Padgett will share their poetry with thh public. 7:30 p.m.

.bc idigan&iL

Tomorrow in Daily Arts:
Check out Breaking Records with a review of "Right Back,"
Long Beach Dub All-Stars' first post-Sublime release.
Monday
October 18, 1999 5A

SondliciIm
musical
showcases
1cast tln
By Evelyn Miska
F or tle. Daily
An intimatte audience of students,
parents, aiid the Ann Arbor public 'Were
transported to'I Lirn o1 the cent urv
Sweden during the Musical Theac tre
a~)part ment 's perforniance of Stephen
Wlondliein's "A Ilittle Night MuLsic"
Playinag to a packed house. the actors

Chiapas' documents chaos
of '90s Zapatista movement

By Laura Flyer
iDaiv :firs \V't
('liiapa, is a relatively snmall village in Southern Mexico,
homeland to thousands of indigenous Mayan Indians. Chiapas,
however, is also homeland to a neo-liberal front currently
eng(aged in wxhat the Newx York Times calls "the world's first
post-mioder'n revol ut ion." Canadian documentary filmmaker

J.P. Potter professes his love to Courtney Balan in "A Little Nfght Music."

Nettle VWldPlunge
Chiapas
At Mi-c1 gan Theater

A Little
Night Music
Mendelssohn
Theatre
Oct. 14, 199

and iuLsician1S
gaxte a xonderfil
performance
from the begin-
nin g right to the
end of the show.
Gary 1Bird
directed the cast
of 18 strtdents in
this 1o01x1v rd
xi filning niscal.
Eaced xw nth a sex\-
ulallv c arced
niulsical and al
hi t~hhy talented
cast, lBird did a

® ¢

fabulous job and createdl a truly beaut-
ful performiance.
The cast themselveCs were aniatim lv
talnte~d and threw themiselves into their,
*W oles. "AILittle Nieht Music'' \as not
the typical fluff-laden m1usical. Often
deemed to be an "adult mnusical," the
story is full of twists. utnrequited loxve.
extra-marital affa irs arid frustration.
Patti Lavery played the glamorous
but somewhat n happy lDesiree
Arnifcldt. Laxvery created a somewhat
jaded D~esiree who retorted to leer ex-
lover Fredrik Etferman with bitim, and1
sarcastic comments as he spoke of his
wvife. l ax cry was q ute gyood in her por-
rayal of this fadi ng. actress. and wxas
verv conx incing; In her performiance.
The xxell-known song; "Send in the
Clowns" was perhaps her only xeak-
ness. Not really sa sing-intg role, Lax erx s
rendition of the son(,sceemed to be more
spoken rather than sunk. Regardless of

isl,, Lexery still managed to Ug11onlthle
h.tartstriines and evxoke sympathy from
the audience for her character
Plax rinc lDesire6's ex-lover,.l redrik
L1 i a. was the extraor'dinary
Alexander (Gemignam. (eniiignan's
performiance of this sexually frustrated
lawye Gcmxras top notch. and is singineU
xx as just as good. I .ointtbut disalp-
pointed that hiis 1 8-y ear-old bride
((outrjex B3alan) is still a x\iin.
Lredrik finds himself back in the arms
of, Dc ,ircc. (Cemign ai 's pomtrayyal of
I me(dril hadl the audiece mann -11inc=
tlr-i 1111allkinds 0f emotions. Onic of'
the most touch inc- and scenes occurred
neat the end of the sltoxx. kvhen I redri k
demcs that lie still loves Annie (R~al n )
in spite of hecr resistance to consuniate
their marria e. OxCraill. (ieie-naili xas
faiulous and helped make the shore
rliost Cnj o~ able.
C ourtney BKhan 's perforniance as
Fredlrik 's child-bride Anne, xwas charmi-
iw. Stri kin clv innocent, Bolani toulched
the audienlce's heart wxith Anne's cen-
tine (distress upon fi ndinRg out that
Frcdrik had returned to IDesirecx Blanl's
performnice xxas balanced by the per-
toriance of Madeleine Wy att who
filled the iole of Countess Charlotte
Malcolmii. the xx it' of Desiree,'s current
loxver, (Comit ( a1r-M 1iagnus Malcol ii
h11hi ittered by hier- husbanlds iii fdel ts.
and sx mipathetic to Aiine for Frcdrik's
beliaxior', thle txx o xxomen become
friends aiid co-conspirators. A sharp
andl witty perforimance. Wy att had the
aLdienCe iin stitches xWithlimativ of her
iesponses. Wyatt also xxon th1e xote of
the Women in the atidience withl the

son-E 'Lxerxv aI Little IDeath-i', in
-x hicli she berates men 'and thleir
unfaithful ness.
Niaclin 1-ooper played ('oaunt ( 'arl-
Niag'nus Malcolm iii arather amlusi ii11 il
somiewhlat absurd vet finely acted char-
acter, Looper put all his energv into is
performanice atid had the audience
laucihin1c1 out loud at obsession xxith
due linig and Is Jealousy of other men.
.1.1'.lPotter aiid T 1. Bunopane gas e thle
tWO miost Sutrprli-u perfornmances,
Potter had on lx a xweek of' rehearsals
Rx'Iore pla I ng Heiiri k Lceriiian.
Ii etlik's son, In spite of the limnted
11e1. Potter rgaxe ra 4''it pcil-rniaitce1".
Ili is piesentatioii of' Iredrik, a '.oun c
m11ii1hasai611 ;dificu ltx rccli linIe his
t'iith Iixith I is sexual desiires. xxaS quilte
iieiiiorable. HIis accurate porti'aval of
thiis ext remely fr-ustrated x otune 1mn
xxas touclii ne. aiid oiie xwould iiot knowx
htow Short a tiiie lcotter tad the role.
Buo1010npane play ed tie iiot her of
D~esiree. \Madamie Ai'iifeldt. Pullingi off
a d ifficult pcrforiiiaiice.xxithi the added
obstacle of- being the opposite sex.
Buonopaiic seemed to play the ii'ati-i-
arch xxithi ease. IS perform11aiice ot' the
'll- "I .iaisoii xxwas excel lent.
Not to be oxverlooked a1rc the perfor-
nialees of the I iebeslieder Sineaers.
xxhose xvoices couldn't hiaxve been bet-
ter. A mazingietthe auidieiice xxithI their
vocal talent. tiese fixve actoirs iiiox c
lie shioxx al oiig, aiid hldped to tiiiravel
he rather coiipl icated plot. 111 addi -
tioii to tie IghI1qualiiv of thle acting
the iiiusicialnS iiade thle shioxxcoiii-
plete xwithi a xxonderfbll perl'or-maiicc of
Soiidhieini s niusic,

stopls distributiing

orgg iii/atioii in (Chiiapas knoxxni as the Zapatista National
I bcrauioii Ai'nv are eiiraged by this decision. re-f ieliiig old
i'esiitiiietits of beine under the control of' the parliamentary
mle of' Mexico. In thle early 1niornins1 hours on .an, 1. the
/apatisias took oxver f'ive toxx us and ;(}( ranchers in Mexico.
leax ing 145 people dead.
But the /apatistas. led by the confident, dynamic, pipe-
siiitkinc leadier Subc omniiiidante Marcos, aren't all about vio-
lence; ini fact. diey claini that their intent is to emerge as an
autoitoiiiours people through the least amount of bloodshed
possible. Mexicain cuerri 11a soldiers enter Chiapas, ceventually
controlliiig a quarter o f the xvillage. A cease-fire is declared, but
the Mexican tioxernment continues to have protective reignl
oxver die Mavan territory.
On the other side of die country, in the north, there is divi-
sion betxween Zapatista supporters and those of the ruling party
xxho pirofit from their labor This upper class forms a group
called "P~eace aiidILIStICC," an organization that is committing
acts of violence that create intolerable living conditions for the
/apatistas because they have to live in fear. These supporters
had to flee their homelands because tie apparent cease-fire is
inot 11io&diiicLup too xxcll.
Not menitioned in "'A Place ('alled Chiiapas- is the impor-
tance of' the gmxowin chains of netxworks in Chiapas due to
their undeiiblx essential influence in trading various goods
to Mexico aiid other countries, some of wxhich are essetntial
b~r "modern" Mexican iiidustrializatioii. The people of
('hiapas constaiitlIs iiade efforts to trade and communicate
through many~ different chaiinels. Their decision to "mar-

;es into the jungle territory of Chiapas and
extracts a montage of mixed emotions,
ideology, culture and history of the
tapatista moxement, wainga.sruggle
againist the Mexican government.
While Wild attempts to focus on such
post-modernist characteristics of the
fighiting through its use of communica-
tioni sources such as the Internet, she
fails to effectively reveal the extent to
which their grassroots media-hyped
caimpaign spread across the world.
"A Place Called Chiapas" begins
wxhien tie pandemonium began: In the
witer of 1994. The NAFTA agreement
betweeii Canada aiid Mexico having just
been settled. the Mexican governmient
land~ to the fairmers of C'hiapas. A liberal

Co_ tesy of Ze tgest F mns
A Zapatista guerrilla and child live in Chiapas, Mexico.
ket' their struggle against the Mexican government certain-
ly had its roots - none of which was discussed in Wild's
documentary but is essential in understaniding their relative
success in gaining recognition.
The labeling of the revolution in Mexico as "post-mod-
ern" ties iiito their tactics oii the Web and is a fascinating
idea, yet not touched upon in "A Place Called ('hiapas."
Although Internet communications xx ith regard to we ars has
been going11 on since its use as a tool in the forming~ of
nuclear' test ban treaties betxweeni the Soviets and the LUnited
States, it has nev er been used as a pseudo-marketing cam-
paign for an increase in supporters ini war. It's truly incredi-
ble that the Zapatistas in Chiapas could spread their cause
to the rest of the world through a computer. This meains of
defense is what the government in Mexico has absolutely no
control. over. The iindigenous peoples have redef'ined the
mean ingt of grassroots campaign inig forever.
Sonic praise should be given to Wild for creatively incor-
porating the internet and a few of its meanings into her dis-
cussion of the Zapatistas. But her documentary would have
been more powverful if she examined the true significance of
this "post-modern" battle.
Wild throws in a mielee of symbols, from shots of angels in
paintings when talking about the cease-fire to a viexv of differ-
ent-colored birds intermingling when discussing~ the occupa-
tioii of Mexican military troops in Chiapas. They are uncom-
plicated yet creatively break up the flow of tie documentary.
Still, there is one scene that r'eally says a lot about the
bravery of Wild and her crew. Captured oni caniera is a
conf'rontation between the Mexicaii military leaders and
the Zapatista refugees who want to return to their home-
land. The guerrilla soldiers unexpectedly hurl stones at
Wild's crew at which point Nettie miust turn off her camn-
era. Scenes like this one are powxerful and enhance the
documentary-viewing experience.

'.
J,
f $TF i
E

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