Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka 'Carlos,' is a Venezuelan-born Marxist revolutionary who aligns himself with the Palestinian cause and becomes the world's most notorious terrorist. He leads assaults on the meeting of OPEC ministers, taking them hostage and flying them from country to country seeking asylum, one of the most daring acts of terrorism in history. From his earliest days as an apprentice in the revolutionary movement to his subsequent downfall, Carlos becomes a figure of legend. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Carlos is never once referred to as 'The Jackal' in the entire five-and-a-half hour running time. See more »
When the terrorists take the tram in Vienna to get to the OPEC conference, the tram can be seen in three scenes, and every time it is a different tram line: The first tram's final destination is "Nussdorf", the second tram is line "D" and the third is a tram on "Extra Tour". See more »
Olivier Assayas, that astonishingly versatile director, has given us a film about Ilich Ramirez called Carlos. I found a lot of pleasure in the details: for example the singalong by Venezuelan and other exiles in a Paris apartment that turns into a bloodbath when the police enter and try to detain Carlos. The nervous hand-held camera work as the mayhem begins is most effective. The center-piece of any film about Middle Eastern terrorism must be the OPEC hostage taking, and this event Assayas depicts very well.
Carlos made me think of the political dramas the Italians used to do so well: The Mattei Affair and Exquisite Corpses by Rosi, The Battle of Algiers by Pontecorvo. I would give it a higher mark if the running time were not so excessive. The truth is that the last thirty years of this man's life have been pretty uneventful, and don't merit the outlay in time.
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