“The Revisionist”

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Let’s hope, that when out of character, Jesse Eisenberg, is nothing like Mark Zuckerberg from “Social Network”, or David, in his latest play, “The Revisionist”, which he wrote and stars in, which is now playing at the “Cherry Lane Theatre”.  David brings an entirely new meaning to the term “ugly American traveling abroad”.

An angry, sci-fi nerd, who does not like to be touched or bothered, David, is looking for a quiet place to revise his book.  After a multitude of destinations turn him down or don’t work out for whatever reason, he winds up at his second cousins home in Poland.  Maria (Vanessa Redgrave), is a 75 year old Holocaust survivor, who volunteers at a local library, and sizes David up within the first few minutes.

Even though she sees right through him, she continues to be nice even after he rudely enters her small, cozy apartment, after a long trip, with an angry attitude demanding, “Can I put my bags down? I have a heavy laptop in here.”  She asks him if he would like to eat dinner, and he whines, “I don’t want to eat.”  and exclaims, “I don’t eat chicken. I am a vegetarian.” After he reminds her  over and over again that he “needs to revise his book and is not there to socialize or tour around her town”, after he is rude to her friend, keeps the window open, letting the heat out, turns her family photos upside down calling them a$$holes because they have not come to visit her for a week like he has, shares a story where he explains how life is not fair because a silly subway story is making it big, and he hasn’t, after he tells her that she was his eighth choice for a place to stay, and last on his list to come to visit, and  the list goes on and on, Maria then shares a secret from her past with him. David begins to feel more comfortable with her. He believes they have started to bond, however, family-oriented Maria, feels otherwise.

Incredible performance by Vanessa Redgrave.

Be a world citizen.

Sample advice from the new World Citizens Guide published by Business for Diplomatic Action:

 Speak lower and slower. In conversation, match your voice level and tonality to the environment and other people. A loud voice is often perceived as bragging. A fast talker can be seen as aggressive and threatening.
 Leave the slang at home. (It) means little or nothing in other cultures. .. (and) can make you seem insensitive.
 Listen at least as much as you talk. By all means, talk about America.. .. But also ask people you’re visiting about themselves and their way of life.
 Dress up — you can always strip down. In some countries, casual dress is a sign of disrespect.
 Remember that your religion is your religion and not necessarily theirs. Most non-Western cultures have little knowledge of the Bible and will not understand references to it.
Article by Sharon Abella


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