Don’t miss this timely chance to catch Woody Allen’s 1983 ‘mockumentary’ with a festival audience. Framed by spoof modern-day talking heads including Susan Sontag and Saul Bellow, Zelig takes us back to Depression-era USA, where Allen’s Leonard Zelig becomes an overnight sensation thanks to a very peculiar ailment. He’s a man so insecure and eager to please that he physically changes his appearance to fit in with those around him.
This ‘human chameleon’ spends the 1920s and ’30s hobnobbing with (in)famous figures from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Al Capone to Pope Pius XI and Adolf Hitler. But the fame-hungry society that made him a hero ultimately threatens to destroy him – will the love of his doctor (Mia Farrow) bring salvation? Many years before digital special effects were taken for granted, Zelig was groundbreaking in melding archive footage with painstakingly ‘aged’ new material, and stands up as classic Allen: a razor-sharp examination of Jewish identity and celebrity culture.