Angels in America

There are very few things I’ve seen in my life so far which have resulted in an accurate application of the word “aghast,” and Angels in America is one of them from start to finish (with assorted kick-boxing hits to my guts throughout).

I can’t summarize this one, or even my impressions of (or reactions to) it, in one sentence … it’s simply too heavily laden and ranges too far (from nasty sex with strangers in a public park to the issue of God’s presence in the universe), but I can say at least that it’s one of the most startling and commanding dramas I’ve ever watched, and that it’s intensely painful in many ways. NOT for the faint of heart … and yet it is, because everybody should be confronted with this fantastically represented reality if they’re to truly be humane and aware. It’s brilliant but a very difficult experience to watch.

“In your experience of the world, how do people change?”

“Well, it has something to do with God … so it’s not very nice. God … splits the skin with a jagged thumbnail, from throat to belly … then plunges a huge filthy hand in. He grabs hold of your bloody tubes … and they slip to evade his grasp but he squeezes hard, he insists … . He pulls, and he pulls, ’til all your innards are yanked out … . And the pain … . Can’t even talk about that. And then he stuffs ’em back—dirty, tangled, torn—it’s up to you to do the stitching.”