On March 16 he debuted at HBO and on HBO GO the miniseries The Plot Against America. With six episodes, the production is based on the dystopian novel by the American writer Philip Roth and tells an alternative version to the history of the United States. After the defeat of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential elections, a Jewish family in New Jersey follows the political rise of Charles Lindbergh, an xenophobic aviator and populist hero who comes to the presidency leading the country to fascism.
Roth was a productive writer and published 31 books, several of which were brought to the screen. Check out three curiosities of his literature that help the viewer better understand his universe.
Nathan Zuckerman is a character created by Roth who appears in many of his books: it is his alter ego, or "alter mind", as the writer called him. Zuckerman is the protagonist and narrator of several novels, such as My Life as a Man and The Phantom Writer. It also appears in The Human Brand, that was taken to the cinema and tells the past of Professor Coleman Silk (played by Anthony Hopkins) and his true racial identity, which emerges after he meets the writer Nathan Zuckerman (Gary Sinise) and the woman he loves, Faunia Farley (Nicole Kidman). Roth did not use Zuckerman to narrate The Plot Against America. In this novel, whoever tells the story is the author himself as a child.
Roth and the great themes of humanity
The approach of hypocrisy, religion, sexuality, family, death and work makes Roth the great Freudian representative of American literature. These themes are also present in the adaptations of his works for cinema and TV. Roth knew how to deal well with the separation between reality and fiction, with issues related to the identity of the Jews, the memory of the 20th century, trauma and the collective unconscious. All of this is reflected in The Plot Against America.
The five titles you need to see
Several artists wanted to take Roth to the cinema. Award-winning actors and directors took on this challenge, which is now up to the new HBO miniseries. Among the films that make it possible to understand the author's mind are:
• outrage (2016): Premiere film of James Schamus, producer of Brokeback Mountain's Secret, The Tiger and the Dragon and many other works.
• Revelations (2003): Robert Benton took on the challenge of translating one of the most praised books by the writer to the cinema. Both the novel and the film address the hypocrisy with which public opinion judges people's sex lives.
• Fatal (2008): starring Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz, the title tells the story of a couple made up of a New York teacher and a Hispanic student.
• The Last Act (2014): Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig they give life to a decadent actor and a young lesbian who decide to give themselves a chance as a couple.