Pink Floyd – The Wall  

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"In 1990 , Waters staged a performance of Pink Floyd – The Wall at the site of the Berlin Wall in Germany."--Sholem Stein

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Pink Floyd – The Wall is a 1982 musical film directed by Alan Parker, based on the 1979 Pink Floyd album The Wall. The screenplay was written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters. Bob Geldof plays rock star Pink, who, driven into insanity by the death of his father, constructs a physical and emotional wall to protect himself.

Like the album, the film is highly metaphorical, and symbolic imagery and sound are present most commonly. The film is mostly driven by music and does not feature much dialogue. The film is best known for its imagery of mental isolation, drug use, war, fascism, dark or disturbing animated sequences, sexual situations, violence and gore. Despite its turbulent production and the creators voicing their discontent about the final product, the film received generally positive reviews and has an established cult following.


Pink is a rock star, one of the many reasons which have left him depressed. At the beginning of the film, he appears motionless and expressionless, while remembering his father. ("When the Tigers Broke Free, Part 1") While Pink imagines a crowd of fans entering one of his concerts, but him receiving them in a fascist alter ego, a flashback reveals how his father was killed defending the Anzio bridgehead during World War II, in Pink's infancy. ("In the Flesh?") The aftermath of the battle is seen ("The Thin Ice"), and thus, Pink's mother raises him alone, which affects Pink's childhood. ("Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1") A young Pink later discovers a scroll from "kind old King George" and other relics from his father's military service and death. ("When the Tigers Broke Free, Part 2") An animation depicts the war, showing that the death of the people was for nothing. ("Goodbye Blue Sky") Pink places a bullet on the track of an oncoming train within a tunnel, and the train that passes has children peering out of the windows wearing face masks.

At school, he is caught writing poems in class and is humiliated by the teacher who reads a poem from Pink's book (lyrics from the song "Money"). However, it is revealed that the bad treatment of the students is because of the unhappiness of the teacher's marriage. ("The Happiest Days of Our Lives") Pink imagines an oppressive school system in which children fall into a meat grinder. Pink then fantasizes about the children rising in rebellion and burning down the school, throwing the teacher onto a bonfire. ("Another Brick in The Wall, Part 2") As an adult now, Pink remembers his overprotective mother ("Mother"), and when he got married. After a phone call, Pink discovers that his wife is cheating on him, and another animation shows that every traumatic experience he has had is represented as a "brick" in the metaphorical wall he constructs around himself that divides him from all society. ("What Shall We Do Now?")

Pink then comes back to the hotel room with a groupie ("Young Lust"), only for her to annoy Pink to the point where he destroys the room in a fit of violence, scaring her away. ("One of My Turns") Depressed, he thinks about his wife, and feels trapped in his room. ("Don't Leave me Now") He then remembers every "brick" of his wall ("Another Brick in The Wall, Part 3"). His wall shown to be complete, and the film returns to the first scene. ("Goodbye Cruel World")

Now inside his wall, he does not leave his hotel room ("Is There Anybody Out There?"), and begins to lose his mind to metaphorical "worms". He shaves all his body hair, and watches The Dam Busters on television. ("Nobody Home") A flashback shows young Pink searching through trenches of the war ("Vera"), eventually finding himself as an adult. Young Pink runs in terror, and appears in a station, with the people demanding that the soldiers return home. ("Bring the Boys Back Home") Returning to the present, Pink's manager finds him in his hotel room, drugged and unresponsive. A paramedic injects him to enable him to perform. ("Comfortably Numb")

In this state, Pink dreams that he is a dictator and his concert is a fascist rally. ("In the Flesh") His followers proceed to attack people. ("Run Like Hell") He then holds a rally in suburban London, indicating his mind has taken over. ("Waiting for the Worms") The scene includes images of animated marching hammers that goose-step across ruins. Pink then stops hallucinating and screams "STOP!", deciding he no longer wants to be in the wall. He is then seen cowering in a bathroom stall, silently singing to himself as a security guard walks past him. ("Stop") In a climactic animated sequence, Pink, as a rag doll, is on trial for "showing feelings of an almost human nature", and his sentence is "to be exposed before his peers". His teacher and wife accuse him, while his mother tries to take him home. The judge gives the order to "tear down the wall!" ("The Trial") Following a prolonged silence, the wall is smashed as Pink can be heard screaming. Pink is never seen again after this. Several children are seen cleaning up a pile of debris, with a freeze-frame on one of the children emptying a Molotov cocktail, after which the film ends. ("Outside the Wall")


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