Monday, February 11, 2008

“BLAME IT ON FIDEL”

I’ve noticed that Europeans are just as swoony and starry-eyed over the politically radicalized late 60s and 70s as Americans are, and in a recent spate of films, there have been a number of ham-handed attempts to “come to terms” with the We Decade and start of the Me Decade. For whatever reason, when these European films portray newly-radicalized individuals, they fall all over themselves painting the era’s left and right wings into the worst possible caricatures. Take this recent (2006) French film “Blame It On Fidel” from director Julie Gavras. I’m going to say right up front that I could only stomach about half the film before leaving the comforting confines of the living room couch, so I guess it kinda rubbed me the wrong way. My wife, whose taste in film is generally stellar, stuck with it & said it was pretty good. But when you have bearded, newly-indoctrinated left-wingers frantically making pamphlets and mooning about “Allende’s revolution in Chile”, and the right-wingers screaming at children about “communist rats”, all nuance and character development take a total backseat to slapping paint on the era with the broadest possible brush.

This, and other recent backward-looking Euro films like “The Best Of Youth” and “What To Do In Case of Fire” (which was otherwise not too bad), feel the need to show a European left totally in harmony with oppressed peoples across the globe, to the point of renouncing their families, their religions, and their friends, before – poof – waking up from the era and coming to grips with their foolishness. “It was all a silly folly of youth”. Now I didn’t see the end of “Blame It On Fidel” but I saw where it was headed and it make my head ache. Trite, boring and already said many, many times. The little girl made some cool little girl pouting faces, though.

Celluloid Hut Rating for first half of film = D

3 comments:

luKe said...

where did you find this one? i have never heard of it, i don't think it premiered at any significant film festival and i don't even think it was released in belgium - if you wanna review a european movie, why do you chose a negligible film with a stupid title like this?

Jay said...

Well Luke, if you must know, my wife rented it. It played in the US briefly. Trust me, I didn't set out to review a European film - just this one.

luKe said...

Jay, tell your wife to rent http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/moviereviews/2007/070608/ next time ;-)