To the editors:
The “bizarre fantasy” described in Jonathan Rosenbaum’s misguided capsule review of The Navigator [September 15] is in fact one of the more serious attempts to deal with the AIDS crisis on film yet, although this is not apparent from anything that Rosenbaum has to say about the movie in his review. Perhaps Rosenbaum expects his readers to be automatically clued in by the Black Death subject matter, but to ignore in the review the issue of how successfully the director Vincent Ward treats his subject, AIDS, is to betray the whole point of the movie. Either Rosenbaum missed the AIDS metaphor, or he felt it was not significant. Either way, the review is a disservice to those readers who might have wanted to see a thoughtful movie about AIDS, but missed this one because they thought it was just another adventure movie.
Jonathan Rosenbaum replies:
I’m afraid that I missed the metaphor. Ms. Bayley doesn’t offer any evidence to support her claim, so I’m still waiting to be convinced.