Thursday 15 December 2016
Bob Fosse | USA, 1972 | 2hrs 4 mins | Rated 15  

Meine damen und herren, mesdames et messieurs, ladies and gentlemen! It is with great pleasure that for our December screening, Haringey Independent Cinema presents Bob Fosse’s brilliant musical drama Cabaret

Based on the semi-autobiographical novel Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood, Cabaret is centred around a raucous Berlin night club and depicts the last days of the Weimar Republic and the rise of National Socialism. Not only a great musical and drama, its ground-breaking depictions of bisexuality also renders it an important milestone in queer cinema.

Sally Bowles (Liza Minelli), a performer with fading dreams of becoming a film star, meets Brian Roberts (Michael York), an aspiring author newly arrived in Berlin to teach English, and introduces him to the ‘divine decadence’ of the Kit Kat Klub and the ‘Kabbaret’ scene. Characterised by biting political satire, gallows humour and radical sexual liberation, the ostensibly bohemian values and lifestyle of this scene was at odds with the new, truly perverted ideology taking hold.

Amid an atmosphere of increasing intimidation and violence, the Kit Kat Klub and its hedonistic denizens appears to be a besieged island of cultural resistance. Yet as the Nazis encroach ever further they seem oblivious to the threat to their way of life.

At the end of a year that has seen the far right in the ascendancy across Europe and America, Cabaret’s themes remain, sadly, as relevant now as ever.

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