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Blame It on Fidel

A movie directed by Julie Gavras

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He who shall teach the child to doubt, the rotting grave will ne'er get out.

  • Aug 27, 2008
  • by
Nina Kervel-Bey, the young star of this movie, is a gifted actress who gives a marvelous performance. She brings this movie to partial life, portraying the main character with a natural presence. The story is told through her eyes, and I could not help but feel sympathy for her. Her childhood is turned upside down by her parents infatuation with leftist politics, and she feels abandoned. Her parents have little time for her now that they have joined the revolution. We see the effects of that neglect, and we see her anger.

The nuns who run Anna's school never have a chance, portrayed as distant figures who tolerate no discussion about their authority, and waste no time in verbally reprimanding Anna for her youthful questions. Her catholic classmates eventually turn on her with cruelty because of her forced absence from bible study. Her best friend spends the night at Anna's apartment, and gets a view of her father's naked body. This upsets the child, but only because she is a young reactionary.

The communist friends of her parents initially tease Anna for her counter-revolutionary beliefs, but eventually the movie shows them to be kindly and understanding friends. Anna learns to doubt everything, (even her parent's politics, to the filmmakers`s credit) and leaves catholic school of her own accord.

Reading the other reviews of this film, I was struck by how easily the Amazon reviewers slip into the Marxist vernacular. Words like bourgeoise, communist solidarity and fascistic conformity slip off the pen. The true believers still exist.

Although no one is demonized in the film, the filmmaker's leftist sympathies are never in doubt. Other reviewers have noted that the viewer is never hit over the head with "ham fisted polemics." This film is a very polished piece of propaganda. Fidel must be very proud. My own experience was a catharsis of all emotion, which befits the tragedy.

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December 02, 2010
My guess is that you didn't vote for Obama. =)
More Blame It on Fidel reviews
review by . November 12, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Young Anna (played by the remarkable Nina Kervel-Bey) has difficulty adapting to the changes in lifestyle forced upon her when her parents give up the comforts of a bourgeois life in order to struggle for women's rights in France and the Chilean revolution of Allende. She demands explanations that the adults around her think she is too young to receive, and which she is then required to supply for herself by piecing together the elements of her experience. This is a very fine film, that traces in …
review by . November 07, 2007
BLAME IT ON FIDEL! ('La Faute à Fidel!) is an enlightening film from France's fine director Julie Gavras, a story based on the novel 'Tutta colpa di Fidel' by Domitilla Calamai that addresses the effect of major political, philosophical, and activist effects on children. What makes this fine film unique is the child's stance on the adult politics: what may seem like exciting challenges for change of an existing corrupt system for the adults may indeed be an unwanted rearrangement of the wants and …
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Warm-hearted and even-handed, this sly political satire centers on Anna (Nina Kervel-Bey), a nine-year-old French girl accustomed to comfort and routine. In 1970, when her attorney father, Fernando (Stefano Accorsi), takes in his Spanish refugee sister, Anna’s tightly-conscripted world starts to unravel. The process accelerates when he and her journalist mother, Marie (Julie Depardieu, daughter of Gérard), take a fact-finding trip to Chile. Upon their return, Fernando has a beard--just like Fidel Castro--and both have embraced activism. This necessitates a move from bourgeois house to proletariat apartment as they dedicate their lives to the disenfranchised. It also means less time for Anna and her urchin-cute brother, François (Benjamin Feuillet). She decides "Fidel is to blame." Still, things could be worse. They may be opposed to it, but her parents allow her to continue attending private school, though her father jokes she's a "little mummy," i.e. Chilean slang for reactionary. (He also believes Mickey Mouse is a fascist.) In adapting Domitilla Calamai’s novel, documentary filmmaker Julie Gavras, daughter of left-wing director Costa-Gavras, presents her first feature from a child's perspective, but that doesn't mean she takes Anna's side. Just as Anna can't see the good in altruism--or tell the difference between conformity and solidarity--her family's plunge into radical politics is understandably upsetting (especially when they take her to a ...
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Director: Julie Gavras
DVD Release Date: November 6, 2007
Runtime: 99 minutes
Studio: Koch Lorber Films
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