Seder Masochism: Full Video

Just in time for Passover 2019, Director Nina Paley has publicly released the full version of her Passover musical animation Seder Masochism (Get ir? Get it?). Clocking in at nearly 2-hours, this is not a quickie clip – though parts of this film have been made into such clips. It’s long. It’s sometimes painful. It’s often sacrilegious. It’s sometimes over simplistic. But what are you gonna do? Watching ancient female deities writhe, is mesmerizing but funny. Why funny? Funny because this film is supposed to be about resurrecting “the Great Mother in a tragic struggle against the forces of Patriarchy” and yet, the female deities are fertility Goddesses, traditionally invoked in order to keep women as barefoot, pregnant and dis-empowered as possible. Ancient goddess worship involved men having sex with temple prostitut… uh, I mean priestesses. For money. Yeah. And we won’t talk about how Israel is depicted – to call it simplistic is an understatement. And with all this talk of the Great Mother, the main recurring character in this animation is Paley’s Dad, depicted as some kind of God. I liked his character – mostly because old Ashkenazi Jews amuse me.

But relax! Nina is clearly not a theologian. Or a Middle East expert. She’s an artist and while one part of me was often horrified, the other part of me enjoyed watching this. I suspect it may be easier to watch if you’re totally baked. What do I know. Happy Passover!


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