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2 customer reviews

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(Nov 18, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Newly restored to it's full lush color, this tour de force about the brilliant Spanish painter Goya - played by the great Lithuanian actor Donatas Banionis ('Solaris') - is one of only ten East German films shot in 70mm. This digitally restored director's cut by Konrad Wolf, the acclaimed director of 'I was Nineteen' and 'Solo Sunny', shows the influence of great filmmakers from Buñuel and Saura to Eisenstein.

As a painter in the court of King Carlos IV, Goya has attained wealth and reputation, and has fallen in love with a beautiful Duchess. But he also finds himself becoming more and more but finds himself increasingly drawn away from the castle, to portray the desires and nightmares of the common Spanish people. After a singer he meets in a tavern is hauled before the Inquisition for singing revolutionary songs, the nightmares of his paintings threaten to become a reality.


One of DEFA's most spectacular and colorful productions, GOYA is an epic bio-pic of Reason and Madness in the Age of Absolutism and Revolution. --Larson Powell, Film Historian, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Donatas Banionis, Olivera Vuco, Fred DÃ1, 4ren
  • Directors: Konrad Wolf
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Restored, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001DYRL7M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,994 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Goya" on IMDb

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In their movies about Francisco Goya, Konrad Wolf and Milos Forman give the Spanish Court painter a totally different role. Also, those movies were shot in two different political regimes. But, still they have the same utmost relevant human message. As Oscar Wilde said in his `The Critic as Artist': `For when a work is finished, it has an independent life of its own, and may deliver a message far other than that which was put into its lips'. This is absolutely true for Konrad Wolf's movie, which attacked censorship in a totalitarian State.

In the movie by Konrad Wolf `Goya or the hard way to understanding', based on the novel by Lion Feuchtwanger (centered on Goya's private life), the artist is the direct target of the Holy Office's Inquisition, because of his paintings and diabolic etchings.
In `Goya's Ghosts' by Milos Forman, the painter is a kind of neutral observer or helpful middleman between the Holy Office and the family of an innocent victim of the Inquisition and its bestial `question'.
However, the message of both movies is crystal clear and highly relevant today; first of all, no inquisitional powers with armies of spies and laws propagating denouncements; and, secondly, no torture, because unbearable pain forces totally innocent people to confess anything asked for, which is then considered as the ultimate proof of their guilt by their barbaric interrogators.

The play of the whole cast in Milos Forman's movie is simply fascinating, but it is not fully convincing in Konrad Wolf's film.

All men and women of good will should view these remarkably courageous masterpieces.
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Format: DVD
This slightly stuffy biopic suffers from inconsistent direction and a middling screen adaptation. Rarely is there a clear sense of the relationships between characters. Some scenes come off feeling too heavy-handed, especially when they don't lead towards a better understanding of the artist. Donatas Banionis is perfectly capable of handling his role as Goya. He acts with heart despite the fact that he's been cast in a less-than-passionate production. We are carried through Goya's middle years as court painter and through his later years when he and his compatriots are ruthlessly oppressed by the Spanish Inquisition. Even though Goya's works are almost harmless by today's standards, you'll see why the Inquisition deemed them heretical. Fortunately, for all you period piece devotees, there is just enough drama to prevent this film from becoming an exercise in thumb-twiddling.
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