Blame It On Fidel
Adapted by Julie Gavras (with help from Arnaud Cathrine) from Domitilla Calamai's novel, Blame It On Fidel sees nine-year-old Anna (Kervel-Bey) come to terms with her parents' conversion to communism against the backdrop of Salvador Allende's election in Chile, 1970. Anna is used to the finer things in life, but when all that changes she finds it tough; what she finds tougher is when her mother (Depardieu) conducts secret interviews with women who are burdened with unwanted pregnancies - a secret Anna must keep from her father (Accorsi). With Anna's innocent questions flummoxing her parents, Gavras shoots holes in communism, religion and everything that wanders into the little girl's path. While it tackles some serious issues, it's also very funny when it wants to be: at the outset Anna's only knowledge of communists are that they're "red and bearded," but as her friend points out, so is Santa. Is Santa a communist? We never find out, but according to her father, "Mickey Mouse is a fascist". For a debutante in almost every frame of the film, Kervel-Bey is just magnificent and carries the picture on her tiny shoulders; her on-screen brother Benjamin Feuillet doesn't do too badly, either. Blame It On Fidel augers will for Gavras' future: for her first time out, she isn't trying too hard to impress and doesn't impose on the story with 'Hey, everyone - I can direct!' shots.
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