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Blame it on Fidel (2006)

La faute à Fidel! (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, History | 29 November 2006 (France)
A 9-year-old girl weathers big changes in her household as her parents become radical political activists in 1970-71 Paris.

Director:

Julie Gavras

Writers:

Domitilla Calamai (novel), Arnaud Cathrine (collaboration) | 1 more credit »

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Taglines:

Whose fault is it anyway?

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

French

Release Date:

29 November 2006 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Blame It on Fidel! See more »

Filming Locations:

Bordelais, France See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,004, 5 August 2007

Gross USA:

$168,065

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,360,243
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Marie de la Mesa: Is that why you want to change schools? You won't see your friend Cecile anymore.
Anna de la Mesa: It doesn't matter. It's like changing nannies.
Marie de la Mesa: How?
Anna de la Mesa: It's sad when they leave, but if the next one is nice, it's okay.
See more »

Soundtracks

Ay, Carmela
(El Ejercito del Ebro)
Spanish revolutionary song (1808/adapted 1936)
Sung by Anna to protest and cover her parents' quarrel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
La faute à papa!
15 December 2006 | by guy-bellingerSee all my reviews

Julie Gavras is famous politically committed director Costa-Gavras'daughter and it shows. But be reassured "La faute à Fidel", her first fiction film (coming after a pair of interesting documentaries) isn't a carbon copy of a Costa Gavras movie in any way. It is much more exciting than just that in that it examines thoroughly the pros and the cons of leftist involvement, mainly its negative repercussions on family life.

The plot revolves around little nine-year-old Anna( played to perfection by tense, brooding, occasionally warming to a welcome smile Nina Kervel), whose life is turned upside down when her parents abruptly change from well-to-do upper middle class people to leftist activists, with a feminist inclination concerning the mother. The whole film will describe the difficulties of a little girl who loses all of her privileges out of the blue, how she understandably rebels against such injustice (even rich kids have a cause to defend!) and who very slowly gets to understand her parents' choices, eventually coming to terms with the situation and growing mature (more mature than the standard brat) in the process.

The movie really charmed me from the beginning to the end, ringing true all the time (the early seventies are well captured, whether when it comes to the production values or the depiction of the mentalities of the time). And Julie Gavras knows her subject on the tip of her fingers. Her parents – just like Anna's ones – have always been leftist activists and wasn't her dwelling-place invaded by Chilean "barbudos" while her dad was preparing "Missing"?

The viewers share her empathy for the central character and appreciate her refusal to resort to caricature. Of course Anna's grandparents are "grand bourgeois" but they are not horrible persons. On the other hand, a leftist activist is not perfect by definition. Those ambiguities give depth to the characters and make them believable throughout. And Julie Gavras has a knack for unexpected details enhancing the viewer's interest and involvement in the story. I was particularly amused by such features as Anna adoring her catechism class, the presence of a violently anticommunist Cuban domestic worker (hence the title), the succession of nannies exiled from different countries torn by ideological conflicts, Anna singing "Ay, Carmela!" to protest against her parents quarreling and many others.

All in all, a wonderful initiation movie that augurs well for Julie Gavras' future career.


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