Filmmaker John Walter artfully
captures Meryl Streep groping for – and then seizing
– the character in her unforgettable portrayal of Mother
Courage in Tony Kushner’s adaptation of the Bertolt Brecht
masterpiece Mother Courage and Her Children, which was presented by The
Public Theater/NY Shakespeare Festival in Central Park in the summer of
2006. As Manohla Dargis in the Times observed, “filmmaker
John Walter jumps from art to history and politics and back again, from
the theater of the streets to the theater of the stage, without pause.
That makes the movie… tough to summarize, which is part of
Though this film could easily have been crafted into a star vehicle for Streep and Kevin Kline, Walter instead digs deeply into Brecht’s motives and politics, unearthing the playwright’s famed and famously clever testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee – the day after which he fled from the United States.
THEATER OF WAR is about theater and war, capitalism and Marxism, the postwar anti-Communist hysteria of the 1950s, and one literary genius’s ability to make art from them all.
"An interesting meditation on theater as social protest, as well as the necessity and (often) futility of art, this is recommended." - Video Librarian
"Meryl Streep was a stunning Mother Courage on stage." - Time Out New York
"A must-see documentary for theater lovers." - Variety
"A captivating documentary, as entertaining as it is edifying." - The Times-Picayune