7.1/10
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La dialectique peut-elle casser des briques? (1973)

| Comedy
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Cast

Credited cast:
Chan Hung Liu ...
(archive footage)
Ingrid Wu ...
(archive footage)
Jason Pai Piao ...
(archive footage)
Raoul Curet ...
(voice) (as Raoul Cure)
Jacques Thébault ...
(voice)
Michèle Grellier ...
(voice)
Dominique Morin ...
(voice)
Daniel Galle ...
(voice)
...
(voice)
Jean-Pierre Leroux ...
(voice)
Yves-Marie Maurin ...
(voice)
Michel Bardelet ...
(voice)
Michel Elias ...
(voice)
Dominique Page ...
(voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Li Chai Chung ...
(archive footage)
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Can Dialectics Break Bricks?  »

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Narrator: [narrating a fight scene] For this sequence, consult "Enrages and Situs in the Occupations Movement," in the Gallimard edition, pages 207 and 231.
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References Themroc (1973) See more »

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Without dead time...
16 December 2007 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

Yes, dialectics can break bricks, if they are integral to a radical subjectivity. Otherwise, no...that is, if dialectics remains in the realm of abstraction, then NO, dialectics cannot break bricks.

BTW, I have a DVD copy of this film which is translated correctly. And indeed, the boy child, revolutionary martial artist does reject the girl who is following him because she is still enamoured of Castroism.

There are many enemies of radical subjectivity: capitalists, landlords, bureaucrats, priests, in short, ruling class elements and their ideologies. Reified thinking/reversal of the subject-object relationship is something to be shunned. Thus, the rejection of the girl who is still hopelessly tied to yet another bureaucratic ideology.

In "Can Dialectics Break Bricks" we have two fundamentally opposed forces at work: the people who serve the bosses and vamp on the proles and the proles themselves who stand up to the bosses and their hired serviles. The radical subjectivity of the proles doesn't need the dead hand of an ideology to motivate them to action. No, these proles are acting for themselves; they are acting as a class for itself; they've said good-bye to dead time. And they won't be happy until the last bureaucrat (even ones claiming to be 'communists') is hung by the guts of the last capitalist. There's no room for manipulators of and apologists for wage-labour when being confronted by class conscious workers who want EVERYTHING. Nope, no way. There will be no peace between these two classes until classes themselves are abolished. As hard as the bureaucrats in this film try to co:opt these class conscious martial artists with promises of crumbs and hierarchical power, the proles refuse. When offered the job of foreman, one of the radical proles spits saying, "I don't want to be a petty boss."

This film is an example of "detournment", a form of Situationist intervention in the society of the spectacle which involves taking film, advertising or really any piece of standard ruling class media and turning it into its opposite, a work of liberation against usual ideological domination. What's used here is a standard martial arts movie with all its gratuitous, relatively content-less violence. And it works! What is originally meant to be taken seriously becomes a satire, a filmic bullet in the heart of the sadistic domination of the ruling ideas of the era, including those spouted by "official" left-wing critics e.g. Foucault as ideology gets a slap in the face, along with the landlords, capitalists and Marxist-Leninist bureaucrats and dominators in general.

Get your kicks: see "Can Dialectics Break Bricks"!


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