Thursday, December 31, 2015

War and Peace

BBC has adapted War and Peace, and one of the things getting notice is an "incest" element. There was an article here at way back in late November by Aoife Kelly.

The small screen adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's epic story of love and betrayal set in Russia boasts a cast of names including Jim Broadbent, Gillian Anderson, Paul Dano, Brian Cox and Lily James of Downton Abbey fame.

The series also features nude scenes and incest storyline featuring a brother and sister. 

Why not? It happens in life and always has, and it has been an element in our stories as long as storytelling has been around.
Andrew Davies, who previously adapted Pride and Prejudice, wrote the series and, speaking to The Telegraph, he defended his work on War and Peace.

“Tolstoy hints very clearly that the characters of Helene and Anatole Kuragin have been having an incestuous relationship," he said.

“The convention of the day means that Tolstoy would never have actually written the scene.”

He also added that yes, there is nudity in it and said, "When you expect someone to be nude, they are."
Recently, had Davies defending his decision...
Andrew Davies has said the incestuous liaison between Hélène and Anatole Kuragin is “crucial” to his adaptation of War and Peace.

Dickens star Tuppence Middleton and Glue’s Callum Turner play the siblings who are seen in bed together in the new version of Leo Tolstoy’s famous novel.

Talking to the Radio Times about his writing process, the 79-year-old said: “I often say I just ‘copy out the best bits’.” However, Davies acknowledged it is not always apparent what the “best bits” may be.

“For instance, in War and Peace, brother and sister Hélène and Anatole are in an incestuous relationship, but Tolstoy indicates this so subtly that most readers, including me, at first reading, miss it altogether.

“This relationship, and their attitude to it, is so crucial to our understanding of them that for me, at least, it needs to be on screen.”
War and Peace
Dickensian star Tuppence Middleton and Glue’s Callum Turner play the siblings who are seen in bed together in the new version of Leo Tolstoy’s famous novel.

"As you can see in episode one, the brother and sister relationship was something I made more of," said Davies.

Check your local listings as it is supposed to start showing soon. If you watch, tell us what you think. Have you read the novel? What do you think?
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  1. I don't normally watch TV but I think I'll make watching this a priority, lately I'm seeing and hearing more and more about incest plots in soaps, movies etc, hoping people might start to have a rethink after being exposed to the subject.

  2. I would certainly like to see more incest plots in shows and movies, as long as it is not abusive and does not end in tragedy.

    -Liz Smith

  3. I agree with Liz, that I would watch more shows with this plot. It really should be better represented in shows and movies to match more reality.



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