Keoma (Enzo G. Castellari, 1976)

Into a windswept desert town suffering two plagues, a literal one for which they are denied medical care, and a figurative one caused by ex-soldiers who no longer have war and capitalists whose desire for power and a docile populace is masked by a misplaced Christian notion of doing good for the lowly, comes a half-breed gunslinger hippie whose visions of his violent childhood are framed in elegant flashbacks spattered with drops of patriarchal tenderness. Allegory abounds, as one would expect from a late Spaghetti Western, as does a narrative that wrestles with the tension between freedom and community, but so, too, does a suite of sick-shrike-and-flatulent-frog -voiced Leonard Cohen-esque story-songs and a multitude of muted Peckinpahvian death-falls, elements that seem less in keeping with revisionism or self-mythologizing than they are with trendiness.

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