We have been on a kick for watching French movies – Blame it on Fidel; was the latest. It is told from the perspective of a 9-year old girl who questions everything. Its the 1970’s in France. She lives in a nice house with a nanny and garden which comes to an abrupt end when her uncle is killed by the Franco regime in Spain. Her father, overcome with guilt (he had fled Spain a few years ago), and mother who is a journalist, get involved in a movement to get Allende elected in Chile. And while her parents are getting more involved with the “communist” movement, her Nanny who has flown Castro’s Cuba is filling her head against communists. So the name: Blame it on Fidel.
The movie is the first one by Julie Gravas, daughter of the leftist Italian director Costa Gravas. I read in reviews later that there is an autobiographical thread in the movie (the questioning daughter and the father with leftist sympathies).
I enjoyed the movie – Anna, the main character is a precocious child who argues about everything with her parents (reminded me a bit of myself as a child a bit – I remember exasperated looks my father would give me). But its her process for coming to terms with what’s happening around her, for the leftist friends of her parents who hang around in the living room waiting for the election results in Chile, for the rallies she is taken to where they get tear gassed, for the women her mother is interviewing as she writes a book about abortion.