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|Index||27 reviews in total|
As a son who grew up in a family of communists, I found this movie very insightful: the twists and turns of what fervent idealists took to be worker's paradise through the 50s, 60s, 70s and then to the end of the dream in the late 80s/early 90s was very well portrayed, especially with Judy Davis' stalwart commitment, which was portrayed quite sympathetically; the dark side of her family relationships was also poignantly sketched, as were her son's struggles with history: both global and personal; all in all, a superb blend of the comic and the dramatic: a genre it's very easy to screw up and is rarely, if ever, handled as deftly as it was here.
...this is an extremely well-conceived, well-written, well-acted, and well-made film. The dialogue, in both its everyday scenarios and heated exchanges, is excellent; and the mockumentary style meshes perfectly with the nicely segmented, ever-twisting plot. Then, after making light of some serious history, the ending takes a dark, ironic turn to drive home its message that whatever political system you choose, the worst elements in human nature are here to stay...
When I saw this film in the TV listings, I thought "could be some good tack." It's much better than that. It starts off almost comedic like, culminating in Stalin singing. Then it enters into the emotional problems Anna has over killing Stalin. The film then focuses on her son Joe, and his problems in finding out he is the son of Stalin, and his gradual descent into Stalinism. The film serves as a warning against Stalinism, about how any abuse of power, no matter the end, is wrong. The interest is held with some superb acting by the cast and the idea of Stalin producing a child and "heir." The movie could use more of an ending, and it does treat itself as being "true" particularly at the end. Having said that this is well worth watching and I recommend it to anyone intrigued by Communism and Stalin.
This must be one of the most refreshing surprises I saw in a long time! Looks boring but it's ultrahilarious. In documentary style we learn something about Australia's dirty history (well this is a satire so don't check out the net for verification, okay?) We go back in the early fifties at where we find an Australian communist Joan Fraser (Judy davis) who really would give her life for the red star, it goes so far that she can arrange to meet the man Stalin himself (all of course before the public knew of his slaughters) and what Joan never expected...she ends up in bed with Stalin but as the man is walking on his last feet, he dies... Agent Nine (Sam Neil) tells her she's a hero who saved Russia and that same night she also ends up in his bed.... Not knowing what to do Joan returns to Australia finding out that she is pregnant. She doesn't tell her Australian boyfriend who the father of her child is....but the poor b*****d accepts. But soon trouble happens when agent Nine returns to the land of the kangaroos...cos the question is : who is the father? He or Stalin? Things of hilarious things are following and we follow the days of the child Joe welch (Richard Roxburgh). For communist mum he's a perfect child...always to be seen at manifestations against the Vietnamwar but then the nightmare strikes...Joe falls in love with a female cop! Really it's totally hilarious even if the personages always stay sober but it's the kind of script that leaves you not one minute in silence. A perfect film from a rather unknown director, see it!!!!
"Children of The Revolution" is one of those well-executed dark comedies, that the Australian Film Industry excels at. If one enjoys dark comedy with a heady twinge of surrealism, you're really going to enjoy this movie. Our best scene (without spoiling it) is when the three start dancing and handing out flowers, with Louis Armstrong crooning Cole Porter's "You're The Top" in the background. My friends almost fell off the couch with laughter. It's a gem!
As many of the other reviews suggest, if you have ever been a lefty or
if your parents were lefties you will enjoy this film. You really do
need to have some familiarity with the vocabulary of socialism in the
1930s and 40s to fully appreciate how good this film is. The German
film "Goodbye Lenin!" (2003) touches the same sort of themes.
So, anyway, the script well written, literate and just a bit edgy, the way Australian films often are. The back story is wonderful and is ably developed by Sam Neil, Judy Davis and F. Murray Abraham. To my eye the cast has given a back story a wonderful 1940s or 50s feel. Sam Neil is good, as always, and remind me of James Mason. Judy Davis is good the way she is always good and reminded me of Betty Davis. F. Murray Abraham's performance actually reminded me of Claude Raines.
This film works on many levels and Richard Roxborough and Rachel Griffiths are very good but I as am more familiar with Russian communist dogma and American films from the 40s and 50s, I am sure I missed a lot when the film turned its attention to contemporary Australian politics and the civil service.
I loved the way the "International" was used in the sound tack. Of course it had to be there but I really liked the way it was used here.
One unsettling attribute of this movie is that it presents itself as if it were based on a true story. Judy Davis plays a Socialist who allegedly had an affair with Josef Stalin (F. Murray Abraham), and when she gives birth to a son with all the revolutionary's traits, there is some dispute about whether he is who everyone thinks he is. During the film he gets into all sorts of trouble with the law and eventually falls in love with a cop that frequently arrests him (Rachel Griffiths). Only at the end does the whim tone down to a serious drama. Whatever this movie has to say, it kept my attention all the way through.
Judy Davis is a young communist in 1950 Australia. She corresponds with Stalin and gets an invitation to Moscow. The trip changes her life (of course) which we get to follow for the next 40 years. You'll be hooked after the first two minutes of this very original film. Great performances (especially from Judy Davis) and unique plot twists made this film worth watching.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some Australian movies are crap, but some are actually quite clever.
This is one movie that I think is quite clever. It is about a fanatical
communist woman who goes on a trip to Russia, sleeps with Stalin, and
then returns to Australia and has his baby. It is not a drama but a
comedy. This baby, Joseph, grows up to become the splitting image of
his father and almost takes over Australia.
The thing I find interesting is how Joseph takes over Australia. He is in prison for draft dodging and rescues some people from a fire. For his bravery he is given a full pardon, and with that he makes a speech in favour of giving prison guards better working conditions. With the support of the guards and the police, he is elected head of the police union and uses his control of the police to increase his power.
The ending seems to be conclusive, but I think that there is more to it than not. Basically, fearing that her son may be killed, the Joseph's mother tells everybody that he is the son of Stalin. She is then assassinated by somebody that Joseph knew in prison. The connection is made and he is arrested. The problem with that is that with the newspapers printing that he is the son of Stalin is grounds for defamation, and in his position, he can manipulate the DNA tests and make it seem that he is not Stalin's son. Then there is the murder. The link is tenuous, and a guy that is as intelligent and as devious as Joseph will be able to beat the charge and return to his job, all the while eliminating his enemies.
This movie is a comedy, and it starts off as one, but as the end nears the pace becomes much less comical and much more serious. The idea about how Joseph takes over Australia is a very plausible one. The creator of the movie obviously put a lot of thought into how it might be done.
It is interesting to note how his life is very similar to that of Stalin's. He has a last name that should be changed (Hitler and Stalin), he is in prison for a short time as a political prisoner, and he works his way to the top through bureaucratic manipulation. Hitler and Stalin were both like that, though that is probably not the route of most dictators.
Still, I thought that this was a great movie and like some of the ideas that are raised in it.
Hello, I support the opinion, that "Children of the Revolution" is a drama film - however interwoven with absurd and impossible situations. These do not make a comedy, no more than the scene of Stalin perfuming his underpants. The choice of Stalin as the leading theme seems to be rather arbitrary. It is certainly not a film against left politics. We see the Vietnam antiwar demonstrations, and an Australian secret agent admitting that he is used to liquidate communist agitators. And the dictators Stalin, Beria and Chrutschov remarkably enthuse over American music. Actually the film seems mainly concerned with unconditional faith, human wickedness and relational collusions. The viewer is constantly reminded that things are not what they seem. In this respect the film strongly reminded me of "The Truman story" - but perhaps this association is purely personal. If any, the theme of the film may be a satire on personal authority (on the other hand, in "The Truman story" it is the immersion in the community, with in the end Truman sailing away to freedom and loneliness). I will now summarize the story, which seems allowed since the films lacks a climax or the building up of suspense. However, if you dislike being given away the clues stop reading now. Jane has been brainwashed into an ardent communist by her father, and for the rest of her life remains stuck into this pattern. She marries a man who is apparently attracted to strong women and without proper will. Her son Joe develops an uncanny desire for imprisonment, and gets married to the cop who repeatedly arrested him. During the story it remains unclear who is the real father of Joe. The suspicion that it might be Stalin completely changes Joes character and behavior. As a union leader Joe succeeds in taking over the power and control of the police force. And with the possession of the legitimated force, he gains control over the state. Eventually his mother brings about his fall after revealing to the public the name of his professed father (Stalin). Subsequently she is murdered by what seems to be an Australian fascist, and Joe is once again imprisoned. This final incident would signal that people are commonly held accountable for their parents deeds. I must admit that this unraveling puzzles me, since an obvious connection to the preceding events appears to be absent. This lack of coherence may be due to an unwise attempt to extend the film message, and thus a neglect of focus. It could be called a qualitative weakness of the film, but perhaps I am wrong and I welcome other explanations. Any way, basically the overall aim must have been to reveal the idiocy of unconditional authority, irrespective of its source, either family, communism, fascism or perhaps religion (with Jane as both the virgin mother and Judas). It rattles the belief in mans good nature, and urges to persevere in free and independent thought. Being a fan of realism, for me it was an interesting sidestep but not really my cup of tea. Sincerely yours, Emil Bakkum
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