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Blame It on Fidel

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
Nine-year-old Anna is very much the little princess. She enjoys the run of her aristocratic grandma’s rambling chateau, even teaches her friends to eat fruit with a knife and fork. All that’s about to change however, since her Spanish father, stung into action by his brother-in-law’s heroic resistance against Franco, has decided to let his political conscience guide his law practice, while her mum’s forsaking the shallows of a women’s magazine for a serious tome on something called ‘abortion’. Soon Anna’s sharing a tiny Paris apartment with sundry beardy Chilean activists, and (by contrast) an exiled Cuban maid who blames everything on Castro. It’s time for the stamping of tiny feet as Anna wonders why her parents always put Monsieur Allende first?There’s a delightfully supple comedy in this early ’70s story, not only from the tantrum-throwing heroine’s uneasy adjustment to newly radicalised priorities, but also in her instinctive probing of mum and dad’s sometimes woolly self-justification. While Julie Depardieu and Stefano Accorsi are both fine as the grown-ups, the film belongs to Nina Kervel’s intuitive brilliance as their Little Miss Unimpressed, a pouting terror in school uniform. It’s conjecture just how close this is to the childhood of the first-time director, whose father is the great political filmmaker Costa-Gavras, but she’s managed the rare trick of making an essentially serious movie with the lightest of touch. How do we learn about notions of justice and equality when as children our perspective’s so naturally self-centred? A deft, original, entertaining and thoughtful look at that moment when we realise the world’s just that bit more complicated than we thought.
Written by Trevor Johnston

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 19 October 2007
  • Duration:99 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Julie Gavras
  • Screenwriter:Julie Gavras
  • Cast:
    • Nina Kervel
    • Stefano Accorsi
    • Julie Depardieu
    • Benjamin Feuillet
    • Martine Chevallier
    • Marie-Noëlle Bordeaux
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