Luisa Anselmi as Saul at Damascus
“On first reading it’s evident that the film lacks a problematic, or a philosophical premise, making the film a series of gratuitous episodes, perhaps amusing for their ambiguous realism. One wonders what the authors are trying to say.” (8 ½. Dir Federico Fellini. Cineriz, 1963.)
You will be told what you are to do. Or you will do the things and desire to be told. Once there was a cloud that opened itself like a covenant, inviting every doubt to find safety within. The birds will tell you stories about how sound is a voice, sobbing; that when you approach the gate you must find clever ways to pass through. This is what I mean when I say I am waiting—that we are all in awe as childhood descends the hill behind us. What does the priest say? That You should be ashamed. And then oh God, the shame. How you intend to criticize but end up an accomplice. The audience will never understand how she is not sad; how she is sad. I wanted things like clarity, truth. Instead, there is nothing like the whole beachhead swept away in the storm. I only see what he shows me: Shadows dancing sinfully behind the confessor’s mask; that word loyalty evaporating like steam on the tip of his tongue.