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A Review by Eve Crevoshay

This year's event was marked by a time of looking back - at the 150th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto and the 100th anniversary of Bertolt Brecht's birth. It was a time to find truth once again in words that often seem out of date.

A calf, penned in by its owner, is prepared for sacrifice under a 50 foot construction reading:

"The Great Industrial Captains need you for their vast plan.
You have not been forgotten, they want you little man. And if, O alf, you're slaughtered, then is thy glory sure.
It shows that how well you're thought of, it's what you were made for.
Oh calf so often wounded, Direct your steps to where his knife is being sharpened whose dearest charge you are.
He who evised new crosses on working men to lay he'll find a way to butcher you too some sunny day." (Bertolt Brecht)

Already, the red-peopled gates of hell have opened to expose the agents of these words - suited men constructing garbled combinations of the words - an overgrown machine gone awry. The gates also spawn stilted butchers on horses who resort eventually to feeding their horses to large red faces from hell. A wave of brown people - a silent and seemingly powerless presence against the machine of the Gates of Hell - slowly descend on the field from far away. In the foreground, black figures beating drums and metal barrels build to a chaotic and desperate climax. They cannot control themselves, tied as they are to black and disturbing symbols of destruction. The drums disturb the larger, sweeping events, distracting us from what would seem to be important, making us wonder where importance truly lies.

The Godface, from the beginning of the pageant, is saved by children in the midst of hell. All around them are large red faces convulsing from their meal of the butchers' horses, and the butchers themselves often unable to stand upright. fire destroys the constructIt is an eerie juxtaposition once again of the sacred and the profane. This is highlighted at the end of the pageant as the cow is picked up by its almost-butcher, cradled carefully by a suddenly repentant man. Together, they light the torch in the right arm of Mother Earth, the torch which then sets fire to the construct of words looming over the scene.

But still we are left with the image of a lone cow and a lone butcher appearing out of the bushes, oblivious to every movement around them, intent on the single goal of death. The most haunting part - they are accompanied by a chorus inside the arms of Mother Earth singing Brecht's words from the construct above them. The sacred is profane, the profane is sacred.



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