Reviews written by registered user
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There's a scene in Butterfly, Jose Luis Cuerda's film about the lead-up
to the Spanish Civil War, where the teacher removes a book from his
bookshelf and briefly considers giving it to the protagonist, a seven
year-old-boy. The book is by Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin. It is
quickly returned to its place on the shelf.
Is the filmmaker suggesting we aren't ready for such ideas?
The scene in Butterfly provides a metaphor for the way anarchism and politics in general have been treated by filmmakers. With few exceptions, either such topics aren't broached at all, or they are broached in such a way as to leave the viewer completely mystified. "Social Realism", according to the online artcyclopoedia, "is a rather pejorative label in the United States, where overtly political art in general, and socialist politics in particular, are extremely out of favor".
Which is perhaps why I enjoyed "This Revolution" so much. There's nothing shameful about expressing overt political sentiments in art, and there's nothing shameful about going overboard either. Witness John Heartfield, or Josep Renau, or Jean Vigo, or Pier Paolo Pasolini. Better sorry than safe, and better to risk being labeled pedantic than pussyfoot around the issues in the hopes of appeasing the critics.
The film is honest. Marshall may not be in the same league as Pasolini, but as another reviewer pointed out, he's not ending his career but beginning it. There's nothing in This Revolution that can't be forgiven in light of the budget constraints and timetable. If nothing else, it's a lot of fun. Watch for Immortal Technique's piece and the 9/11 rant; watch for the RNC footage, which is electrifying (you won't always be sure what is staged and what isn't); and watch for the reference to Malatesta, who I'm pretty sure has never been mentioned in the medium before.
Get off your high horse and I think you'll find Marshall's film refreshing and timely. We need more of this stuff.