Thursday, August 09, 2018
Mata Hari at West Edge Opera
Mare Nostrum at the SF Silent Film Festival whose heroine was loosely based on the World War One femme fatale spy, and did some research on her afterwards. What a rich, ripe subject she would be for a feminist examination. Margaretha Geertruida Zelle was an abused young Dutch wife who fled her husband in the Dutch Indies at the beginning of the 20th century. Performing under the stage name of Mata Hari, she posed as an exotic danseur from the Far East throughout the capitals of Europe. She was also mistress to legions of male admirers, and during World War One was pressured into spying on the French for the Germans so she could reunite with her young Russian aviator lover who had been shot down and was blind in a hospital. Eventually, she was set up by the Germans for exposure and then executed by a French firing squad. (All production photos by Cory Weaver, the rest are mine and yours).