Rent The Death of Klinghoffer (2003)

3.4 of 5 from 51 ratings
1h 59min
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The 1985 hijacking by Palestinian terrorists of the Mediterranean cruise ship Achille Lauro culminated in the murder of wheelchair-bound Jewish-American passenger Leon Klinghoffer. Adams's controversial but highly acclaimed opera plays out against the turbulent emotions and violence that are as ancient as Biblical text and as contemporary as today's headlines. Award-winning British fim-maker Penny Woolcock, working with the composer, has ingeniously reworked the original, using techniques afforded by film to imbue the narrative with realism.
Whilst the main action is shot on location in the Mediterranean, actual and recreated archive footage tells the broader story of the characters before and after the hijacking.
Sanford Sylvan, , , , , , Leigh Melrose, , , Vivian Tierney, , , , ,
Madonna Baptiste
Voiced By:
Susan Bickley
Alice Goodman
Drama, Music & Musicals, Performing Arts, Special Interest
Release Date:
Run Time:
119 minutes
English Dolby Digital 2.0, English Dolby Digital 5.1
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
  • Filming "The Death of Klinghoffer" (47 mins): An in-depth insight into the conception of the film, including exclusive interview footage with John Adams and Penny Woolcock
  • Director's Commentary: Penny Woolcock, with Yvonne Howard, Christopher Maltman and Tom Randle

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Reviews (1) of The Death of Klinghoffer

documentary or opera? - The Death of Klinghoffer review by IM

Spoiler Alert

Penny Woolcock tries to make both, and for me it didn't quite work.

That said, it was an interesting week to learn about the Arab-Israeli conflict,

(mid-May '21) what with rockets pouring out of Gaza and many dead.

Opera is such an "unnatural" way of presenting ideas and situations that all the

"verismo" of traditional favourites such as "Cavaleria Rusticana" is left way behind

here by voiceovers and reportage life Jon Snow reporting a la Channel 4 News!

Then we have poor John Adams wrestling with Alice Goodman's weighty text with its

long long choruses and the captain's personal confessions to camera.

Of course it was a real attempt to make opera relevant to our time and, since it was created

way back in 1985, it's a shame in a way that today it's more relevant than ever!

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