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Witchcraft Through the Ages

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Witchcraft Through the Ages

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
Unrated
performer:
William S. Burroughs
distributor:
MPI Home Video
genre:
Documentary

We gave it a B

Which is stranger: witchcraft itself, or movies about witchcraft? Witchcraft Through the Ages is an eye-popping cultural artifact, a vividly embroidered documentary produced in Sweden in 1922 and here narrated in English by author William S. Burroughs. After tracing witchcraft’s rise through a series of lurid engravings, Burroughs brings us to the Middle Ages (”when the devil’s deeds ran rampant”), and the on-screen images switch to subtitled dramatizations of toad-eating witches and torture-loving witch-hunters. Next we’re in the ”modern era,” where, Burroughs tells us, witchcraft takes the form of psychic hysteria and other alleged ”mental illnesses.” In this case, the witchcraft movie is surely as strange as its subject. B

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