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Blame it on Fidel (2006)
"La faute à Fidel!" (original title)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 3,967 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 20 user | 38 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

A 9-year-old girl weathers big changes in her household as her parents become radical political activists in 1970-71 Paris.

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(novel), (collaboration), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nina Kervel-Bey ...
Anna de la Mesa
...
Marie de la Mesa
Stefano Accorsi ...
Fernando de la Mesa
Benjamin Feuillet ...
François de la Mesa
Martine Chevallier ...
Bonne Maman
Olivier Perrier ...
Bon Papa
...
Isabelle
...
Mathieu, le marié
...
Marga
Gabrielle Vallières ...
Cécile
Raphaëlle Molinier ...
Pilar
Carole Franck ...
Soeur Geneviève
Marie Llano ...
Mère Anne-Marie
Marie Payen ...
La mère poule
Marie-Noëlle Bordeaux ...
Filomena
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Storyline

Hello, my name is Anna and I am nine years old. I wish you had known me before - I mean before my aunt Marga and my cousin Pilar came to my parents'house -, I was such a happy little girl. Before their coming life was a bed of roses. Of course my little brother could be a pain in the neck - little brothers always are, aren't they? - but there was that wonderful big house, there was my Cuban-born nanny who cooked so well, there was the bath before dinner, not to mention this wonderful catechism class at the catholic school. But they did come, those Spanish intruders. And now never heard before names like "Franco", "Allende", "Women's Lib", "abortion", the lot, have got into my life. Daddy and Mummy have suddenly become "communists", although this a term that Bon Papa and Bonne Maman (my grandparents from Bordeaux, in fact) just hate. Because of the intruders not only did we move to a tiny apartment but the place is invaded day and night by "barbudos" (bearded men). No more bath before ... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

catechism | bath | class | girl | spanish | See All (165) »

Taglines:

Whose fault is it anyway?

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

29 November 2006 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Blame It on Fidel!  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,004 (USA) (3 August 2007)

Gross:

$166,485 (USA) (14 December 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Soeur Geneviève: Miss De la Mesa, repeat what I said.
Anna de la Mesa: "The goat was eaten by the wolf for disobeying."
Soeur Geneviève: Getting eaten by the wolf was its punishment. So the text is about the need for obedience.
Anna de la Mesa: Sister, I don't get it. My grandpa showed me the paw of a fox caught in a trap. It gnawed off its paw to get free.
Soeur Geneviève: That's quite different. The goat wasn't trapped. Mr. Seguin fed it, loved it.
Anna de la Mesa: But he kept it tied up. It's in the book.
Soeur Geneviève: Are you saying the goat wanted to die? That would be a sin. Sit down.
Anna de la Mesa: Animals aren't ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Venceremos
Written by Ortega / Iturra
Chilean revolutionary song sung by the leftist activists at Frenando's
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User Reviews

 
Political Upheavals from a Child's Vantage
7 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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 needs of children whose political acumen is less advanced than the need for order and consistency in everyday life.

The story takes place in Paris in 1970 - 1971. 9-year-old Anna de la Mesa (Nina Kervel-Bey) is a bright child who loves the divinity aspects of her Catholic school and enjoys the wealthy bourgeois elegance that surrounds her. She and her little brother François (Benjamin Feuillet) are informed that their aunt, an anti-Franco activist from Spain, will be moving in with Anna and her parents Fernando (Stefano Accorsi) and Marie (Julie Depardieu). This critical move incites a change in philosophy for Anna's parents and soon they become enchanted with the rise of Allende in Chile and embrace the Socialist mindset and the promised feminist movement changes, moving from their elegant house into a small apartment and demanding that Anna give up her divinity studies 'because the are against Communist thought'. As liaison in France for Chilean activists, Fernando holds strange and frequent meetings, disturbing further the life Anna loves. While little François is able to go along with the life changes, Anna rebels and refuses to alter her goals and needs merely for the 'fad' of her father's frequent trips to Chile while leaving behind her mother to continue writing articles for the ('bourgeois') French magazine Marie-Claire! As the political upheavals increase Anna is more pugnacious in demanding her rights and the finest moments of the story demonstrate how a child can respond to political change and still find her 'place' in the world that she chooses! The pacing of the film is fast and captures the exhilaration of the foment 'round the world in the early 1970s. The cast is excellent, especially the children who have not had prior exposure to acting. The message is a potent one that deserves our attention both as informative of a political era and as a piece of veritas cinema from a fine director and crew. In French and Spanish with English subtitles. Highly recommended. Grady Harp


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