Simon Magus Review

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A beleaguered, much-diminished Jewish community in late 19th century Silesia is the setting for a mystical fairytale in which dreams, magic and conversations with the Devil (Ian Holm) all figure in the transformation of disturbed outcast Simon Magus (Taylor) from the instrument of his people's destruction to their saviour.

Royal College of Art graduate Hopkins makes a striking feature debut with a creditable stab at magical realism that encompasses persecution, schizophrenia, romances and echoes of a range-war Western, with orthodox Jews defying ruthless Polish bourgeoisie instead of farmers versus cattle barons. It's a niche movie, but one in which a committed cast, good imagery, mood and music amount to considerable appeal.