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clear polarities

July 3, 2009

[Neue Zürcher Zeitung] The greatest warring power in today’s world is the USA, whose occidental interventions go hand-in-hand with sex and crime scandals. This is the stuff of Peter Sellars’ Othello. In the hands of this American director, Shakespeare’s Venetians, who speak the original text word for word, are Afro-Americans and Latinos, communicating in their dark blue uniforms over cell phones. The decision to send General Othello to Cyprus to defend the outpost against the Turks is reached via telephone conference. And Sellars has updated both skin colours and sexes to fit today’s reality. The governor of Cyprus is a woman, Signora Montano, which in the course of this epic tale, leads to complications. She becomes a rape victim. On the surface, military life is dictated by prudery. It doesn’t take much to topple inhibitions. A few beers to celebrate the defeat of the Turkish fleet – Lieutenant Cassio loses control and turns on his female comrade. (read)

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