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  • Summary: Protagonist weaves together the stories of 4 men: A German terrorist, a bank robber, a gay evangelist and a martial arts student. At first glance the characters appear disconnected. But as their stories unfold in riveting detail, one starts to see the parallels between the uncommon, commonProtagonist weaves together the stories of 4 men: A German terrorist, a bank robber, a gay evangelist and a martial arts student. At first glance the characters appear disconnected. But as their stories unfold in riveting detail, one starts to see the parallels between the uncommon, common experience of these four men. To illustrate the timelessness of her subjects' dilemmas, Yu uses puppets and the work of Greek dramatist Euripides. Whether famous, infamous, or simply anonymous, each lives out the eternal drama of how we control--or don't control--our own destinies. (IFC Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    Wu is able to demonstrate both the timelessness and the universality of stories which, on the surface, sound extreme and unique.
  2. 80
    A highly original and at times thrilling use of the documentary medium, and one of the most revealing films about the troubled nature of contemporary manhood I've ever seen.
  3. Although it takes a while for Yu's thesis to jell, the film makes a lasting impression as it delves into an unfashionable territory: character as fate rather than a function of pharmaceuticals.
  4. 75
    Amazingly, no one seems steeped in the salubrious self-explication of therapy. They just sound like very good storytellers.
  5. Jessica Yu’s enthralling documentary exploration of people with obsessive needs for control and self-mastery.
  6. All four stories are worthwhile, though together they’re an awful lot for one modest doc to cover. Yu’s integration of cinematic and theatrical elements is uneven, and a bit stiff.
  7. 25
    Unfortunately, it doesn't work. None of the talking heads is as interesting as Yu thinks they are; and it's difficult to build sympathy for any of them.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. [Anonymous]
    Dec 5, 2007
    10
    Beautiful, funny, thoughtful, provocative.

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