Questions About Representation

Say what you will about “Die Schmutzigen, die Hässlichen und die Gemeinen” (“Ugly, dirty, bad”), but don’t accuse Karin Beier of being naive. In her 2010 theater version of Ettore Scola’s 1976 neo-realist film about a shanty town family, Beier is fully aware that neo-realist methods are risky, if not suspect, in this day and age. In portraying the violence, adversity and sexual perversions of a very poor family, Beier seems to suggest that it is no longer possible to simply bare these terrors in an art context, that it is passé to merely represent them, to put “real life” (whatever that may mean) on stage.

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