AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


CRITICAL WOMEN HEADLINES

11/21/07

Blame It On Fidel: Radical Girl Consciousness Raising, And Proud

By Prairie Miller

As much a coming of age story shedding light on the growing process of parents as well as their children, Blame It On Fidel is about the difficult path a young girl moves through, in adjusting to life in a left wing family. But this surprising tale full of wisdom and imagination uniquely from a child's point of view, could easily be about the growing pains of any youngster as they come face to face with the complicated revelation that not only are they indeed not the center of their family's caring universe, but that their parents are actually individuals in their own right too. Blame It On Fidel is in addition graced with an especially knowing point of view, as it's based on the in equal parts emotionally idiosyncratic and ideologically impassioned childhood of director Julie Gavras, daughter of none other than legendary political filmmaker, Costa Gavras (Z, State Of Siege).

Blame It On Fidel is the story of nine year old Anna (Nina Kervel), who leads a comfortable bourgeois life in Paris. Her politically progressive parents, lawyer Fernando (Stefano Accorsi) and magazine writer Marie (Julie Depardieu, daughter of Gerard) are both from highly affluent families. But it's 1970, and Anna's parents respond to the turbulent tenor of the times, as critical events unfold in Franco's Spain, Chile and Greece.

As Anna's parents become increasingly immersed in political struggles, she finds herself ignored and marginalized in their lives. Her resentment is shared by the housekeeper who left Cuba and, well, blames it all on Fidel. As well as anyone with a suspect beard. The family is eventually relocated to a smaller, dingy apartment as they devote themselves exclusively to their ideals and sideline their professional careers. Meanwhile, Anna barely comprehends her own deepening resentments. But as the apartment begins to be filled with activists and assorted political refugees from around the globe, Anna starts to understand on her own delightfully distinct child's level through something as simple as cutting up an orange for a snack, notions like sharing and economic equality and justice, that these enthusiastic visitors embrace.

Blame It One Fidel radiates a touching clarity that movies about children have much to learn from. Namely, the formative intelligence of a child making sense out of an often confounding adult world, and the courage and necessity of their elders to just listen.

A Koch Entertainment Release
DVD Features: Deleted scenes presented by the director. Also, Featurettes: The Making Of Blame It On Fidel, Behind The Scenes, and the theatrical trailer.

Prairie Miller

No comments:

Post a Comment