God’s Image in the Film Amadeus by Miloš Forman

Author: Adam Romejko

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26142/stgd-2018-017

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Abstract

After the Second World War, several European filmmakers managed to succeed in the USA. The Czechoslovak director Miloš Forman (1932-2018) was one of them. His life was not easy. During the war he lost his parents, and later his homeland, because he decided to emigrate. The beginnings of his artistic activity in the US were marked by failure. The breakthrough came with the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), and the great success Amadeus (1984). Next to the titular Mozart, the main character of the film is Antonio Salieri, a musician from northern Italy. He wants to be a famous composer and prays fervently for that. It seems to him that his prayer has been heard, until he meets Mozart, a musical genius who –  according to Salieri – did not deserve this gift. Salieri rebels against God’s ‘extravagance’. He does not want to acknowledge that he is wrong. God’s generosity is unlimited. Both Mozart and Salieri derive from this divine abundance. Salieri persists against God. He never experiences relief and suffering does not lead him to recognize his own mistake (sin). With pain, but also with pride, he expresses his opinion about the righteousness of his own conduct.

Keywords

Forman, Girard, God, Mozart, Salieri, Schwager