Discordant, psychedelic, and deeply surreal, Georg Koszulinski’s New Mexico Deathwish Diatribe achieves a distinction of giving you the impression you’re on acid without actually having to imbibe it. The film has three narrators, is set in the deadly expansive desert portion of New Mexico, and treats us to the fatalism which enfolds anyone who exists there. I should know, my wife’s family is from New Mexico, and they’re all convinced the radon levels in the water will kill them tomorrow.
“…Koszulinski muses on the nature of fatalism by the first Spanish explorers of New Mexico…”
Our three narrators are Robert J. Oppenheimer, an Extraterrestrial visitor, and Koszulinski himself. As Oppenheimer and his team prepare to test the nuclear bomb at White Sands, we learn the tale from the Bhagavad Gita of how Arjuna went blind when he met the god Krishna. Koszulinski muses on the nature of fatalism by the first Spanish explorers of New Mexico and related topics. All the while, the alien visitor is attempting to appraise whether humanity is worth saving.
Due to the fatalism mentioned earlier, it’s fairly obvious none of these musings will end well for us as a species. I found New Mexico Deathwish Diatribe to be a very trippy, avant-garde 12-minute short that reminded me of some of the more out there work from the late, great Stan Brakhage. If you want a film that will give your head a trip, check this one out.
"…will give your head a trip..."