The Roots of Heaven is about the hunting and killing of elephants. It remains for the kitsch-hounds to pick up the scent….
On the face of it, The Roots of Heaven is promising Huston material. Like nearly every film he has ever made, it is concerned with a prodigious undertaking: sometimes it is the pursuit of wealth, sometimes it is an objective in war, or blowing up a ship or a politician, or killing a whale. Usually it involves a protracted physical, ordeal of utmost realism…. The trouble with The Roots of Heaven, and with the last half-dozen or so of Huston's efforts, is that the virtues of this approach exist quite independently of the film itself. A style of...
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