American Butchery | Letters | Chicago Reader

American Butchery 

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To the editors:

Thank you once again, noble Jonathan Rosenbaum, for appreciating and upholding a film (Parents) which, for all its power and brilliance, is being forced out of the public arena by being so timidly slighted by critics [April 7].

There was one point touched upon in this generally fine review which needs expansion: the film's extraordinarily sharp analogical picture of post-World War II America as a predatory and blood-soaked empire. The activities of the father (Randy Quaid) at "Toxico" are obviously an analogy or reference to U.S. activities in the Third World--and the film seems to be saying (quite correctly, I think) that it is precisely because of this relationship of America to the world that the domestic scene took on its particularly obscene aura.

I assume (and hope) that Balaban would not be creating this film just to make a period piece. That vicious pairing of American overseas butchery with a sentimentalized abundance at home is--still today--all too real.

Leon Shark

Chicago

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Performing Arts
The Great Leap Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Upstairs Theatre
September 05
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October 15

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