"Fragments of a Revolution? What revolution? The French Revolution? The Russian revolution? The modernist revolution? The sexual, feminist, racial, gay revolutions? Once there was a time when the world was up for grabs, when keys seemed to open doors rather than lock them, when experimental modernism promised to transform the world, even as madness, sorrow, failure and Prada lay waiting in the shadows. Eleanor Antin's 1979 performance extravaganza Before the Revolution evoked that heady world, in which her persona, Eleanora Antinova, an imaginary black ballerina in Diaghilev's Ballet Russe, performs her dream role of the White Queen, Marie Antoinette, while quarreling with the great impressario about racial profiling and the magical promise of modernism. In the revival performances at the Hammer Museum in Jan. 2013, a cast of live actors joined with the original cast of painted, life-scale puppets to perform this allegorical tragic-comedy, doubling and even tripling to create a colorful world of shifting selves and ambiguous realities, a kaleidoscope of ballerinas, kings, lambs, maids, madmen and revolutionaries. Now re-invented and transformed into a film, live actors and puppets move through a ruined landscape of narrative fragments of psychological and political oppression, a kind of musical, poetic and dramatic interplay of continuities and interruptions, the dark chaotic music of modern life." -- Eleanor Antin
Directed and produced by Eleanor Antin and Sybil Wendler. Written by Eleanor Antin. Editor: Joan Sobel Director of Photography: Sergio Ulloa. Sound Editor: Dante Fazio.