Marcelino Stuhmer

Chicago Cultural Center

John Frankenheimer’s 1962 thriller The Manchurian Candidate depicts the brainwashing of captured American soldiers during the Korean War, with one soldier programmed to become an assassin. It’s an eerie tale of enemies without and within that hinges on the insecure integrity of self. The validity of the story was enhanced when, a year after the film’s release, a former GI who had lived behind the Iron Curtain was accused of assassinating President Kennedy. A pivotal scene in the film depicts the group of soldiers seated at what they are brainwashed into believing is a garden party, in America, at which a group of matronly ladies listen to a lecture about hydrangeas—a scene that the soldiers later individually revisit in dreams with horrific glimpses into the reality of their situation.

Shifting snippets, visual and auditory, in Frankenheimer’s 360-degree pan around the room reveal that

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