7.6/10
4,664
22 user 37 critic

La faute à Fidel! (2006)

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 »

On Disc

at Amazon

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 Olivier Perrier ... Bon Papa
Marie Kremer ... Isabelle
Raphaël Personnaz ... Mathieu, le marié
Mar Sodupe 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

Plot Keywords:

catechism | bath | class | girl | spanish | See All (166) »

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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$166,485, 16 December 2007
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

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

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

 
...as seen through the eyes of a child
28 November 2008 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

Set in the politically turbulent Paris of the1970s, "Blame it on Fidel" tells of a sheltered young girl who has her comfortable bourgeois existence ripped away from her after her staid, conformist parents (Julie Depardieu, Stefano Accorsi) suddenly become born again leftist radicals. Anna is forced to give up the home she loves and the nanny she adores when her father quits his job in order to dedicate himself full time to fighting for the proletariat against the repressive corporate powers of the world. The family moves from their spacious home in the country to a cramped apartment in the city, which is often filled with bearded revolutionaries who utter strange catch-phrases in barely audible whispers.

Thanks to a thoughtful script and sensitive direction, "Blame it on Fidel" manages to provide a compelling child's-eye view of the adult world. Incapable of grasping the "big picture" as her parents see it, Anna knows only that the family is now woefully short on cash (she runs around the house flipping off light switches and heaters to save electricity), and that her mother and father are so preoccupied with their "cause" that Anna and her little brother (the adorable, scene-stealing Benjamin Feuillet) seem to have been relegated to mere afterthoughts in their parents' tremendously busy lives. In a performance rich in insight and wisdom and utterly un-self-conscious in tone, nine-year-old Nina Kervel-Bey brings to life a character who often doesn't fully understand what's going on in the world around her but who never gives up trying to figure it all out. For a good part of the time, Anna is torn between childish curiosity and an indefinable sense of shame regarding her parents' newfound activities. Yet, through keen observation and endless questioning, and the eventual piecing together of the many unfiltered fragments that come floating her way, Anne is finally able to come to some kind of understanding, however imperfect, of the much larger world community of which she is only a very small but crucial part.

Despite the inherently ideological nature of the material, writer/director Julie Gavras, the daughter of famed filmmaker Costa-Gavras, keeps most of the political stuff in the background while she concentrates on the strain the grownups feel as they strive to juggle their save-the-world activities with their duties as parents.

Add to this some excellent performances by a talented cast and a rich, flavorful score by Armand Amar and "Blame it on Fidel" becomes a film well worth checking out. In this her second venture as a director, Ms. Gavras has done her old man proud.


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