A man named Jacques Mornard arrives in Mexico in 1940, claiming to be a Belgian who is fleeing the war in Europe to join his girlfriend, one of refugee Leon Trotsky's secretaries. But ...
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A man named Jacques Mornard arrives in Mexico in 1940, claiming to be a Belgian who is fleeing the war in Europe to join his girlfriend, one of refugee Leon Trotsky's secretaries. But nobody knows that in reality this conventional and cheerful young man is in fact an agent of the GPU (Soviet Secret Service) and has been sent to assassinate Trotsky.
On 24 May 1940, Trotsky survived a raid on his villa by armed assassins led by the NKVD agent Iosif Grigulevich and Mexican painter David Alfaro Siqueiros. Trotsky's 14-year-old grandson, Vsevolod Platonovich "Esteban" Volkov (born 7 March 1926), was shot in the foot, and a young assistant and bodyguard of Trotsky, Robert Sheldon Harte, was abducted and later murdered. Trotsky's other guards fended off the attackers. Following the failed assassination attempt, Trotsky wrote an article titled "Stalin Seeks My Death" on 8 June 1940, in which he stated that another assassination attempt was certain. See more »
In the NKVD training center dining hall where Mercader talks to the high officers, there is a banner over the internal passage arch. It's a standard multiplication of "Proletarians Of The World, Unite" from the Karl Marx's Manifesto, translated to native languages of every Soviet Republic. One clearly visible is in Estonian "Kõigi maade proletaarlased, ühinege". It was impossible in 1939, before Mercader's mission to Mexico, as Estonia, along with two other Baltic states, was admitted (annexed rather) to The Soviet Union only in 1940. See more »
Interesting and historical Mexico/Spain co-production concerning the communist leader Trotsky and his enemies
Good film based on historical events, it deals with Ramón Mercader: Alfonso Herrera, who undercovering as a Belgian man arrives in Mexico to find his sweetheart, Sylvia Ageloff : Hanna Murray. This one is one of refugee Trotsky's-Henry Goodman-secretaries. Meanwhile, Mercader claiming to be an exiled person who is fleeing the war in Europe. But he is really an agent under strict orders of Stalin's GPU, Soviet Secret Service and he has been hardly trained by the stiff agent Kotov : Julian Sands. Things go wrong when an attempted assassination against Trotsky takes place.
Dramatic film about interesting historical deeds. It is well set with adequate production design in budget enough, colorful cinematography by Guillermo Granillo and atmospheric musical score by Arnau Bataller. The picture displays a good cast, giving acceptable interpretations with Spanish, Mexican and British actors, such as : Alfonso Herrera as Ramón Mercader, the agent sent to assassinate him , Henry Goodman who bears remarkable resemblance to Trotsky , he plays him perfectly, Elvira Minguez as his obsessive mother Caridad, Hanna Murray - subsequently famous for Game Of Thrones - as his girlfriend, Julian Sands as GPU agent Kotov, Alejandro Calva as Siqueiros, Emilio Echevarria as Salazar, Roger Casamajor , Javier Godino, Frances Barber, among others. The motion picture was professionally directed by Antonio Chavarrias. He is a good writer, producer and director who has made decent films, such as Childish games, Volverás, Las vidas de Celia, Susanna, Manila ,Un caso para dos, Una sombra en el jardin, Hundimiento del Titanic, among others.
In the picture there are some biographic remarks about Trotsky. He was an Ukraine Jewish, 1877-1940 . During Zarist period he founded a Communist league in South Russia, he then was imprisoned and banished in Siberia. Trotsky attempted to join the Bolchevique and Menchevique factions, with no much success . He was main responsible in taking the Nicholas II's "Winter Palace" during 1917 October Revolution, being chosen President of Petersburg Soviet. Trotsky was named First Commissario of Foreign Ministry, and he agreed with the Germans the peace treaty "Brest-Litovsky" in which Russia left WWI . Later on, he was appointed as War Commissioner, 1918-1925, he organized and commanded the Red Army against the White Army formed by contra-revolutionaries, pro-Zar troops and other foreign nations. Before dying, Lenin named him his sucessor, but his enemy Stalin impeded him to govern over Russia and banished him in 1929 . The ideological differences to Stalin were important , as Trotsky theorized about the Permanent Revolution to export Communism all around the world, while Stalin dealt with Communism on a country : Russia. As Stalin missed Trotsky of the party direction and deported him to Kazajistan. Later on, Trotsky expatriates in Mexico on the Coyocan mansion. Along the way Trotsky founded the Fourth International Communist and wrote two essential books : The Revolution Permanent 1930 and History of the Russian Revolution 1932. On 24 May 1940 Siqueiros, a notorius Mexican Muralist, led an attempted assassination against exiled Trotsky . Being helped by his bodyguard Sheldon Harte. The crime was carried out by 20 men, but they failed to kill him, though Trotsky was injured. Subsequently, the attackers executed Sheldon Harte in cold blood by shooting in head . Besides, another famous Muralist called Diego Rivera, married to prestigious painter Frida, was also detained for assassination.
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