[Marxism] request for political film suggestions

Octob1917 at aol.com Octob1917 at aol.com
Thu Nov 25 13:35:10 MST 2004

In a message dated 11/25/2004 11:15:32 AM Pacific Standard Time, einde at gmx.de 
I thought the most important message was the responsibility of the 
British state for the frame-up. Having lived as a young Irishman in 
London at the time I felt that it evoked the period and milieu (my 
milieu) brilliantly, as what happened to them could have happened to any 
of us - and to be frank nearly did because of the close family ties 
between one of the people I shared with at the time and an IRA man 
arrested shortly afterwards. Several people I knew at that time ended up 
doing time in the North, even though half of those who did time weren't 
in the IRA when they were first arrested - most were, however, by the 
time they were released.

I take your point. The hysteria and anti-Irish sentiment of the time 
certainly comes through in the movie, with excellent performances and an evocative 
musical score. The track by U2 which opens the film still sends shivers down my 

My critique is the stereotypical depiction of the IRA as a bunch of mindless 
thugs bombing and killing with reckless abandon. There is no attempt by Jim 
Sheridan to depict the cause of the violence or the conflict, namely British 
colonialism, which I think leaves it lacking as anything other than a one 
dimensional piece. That said, it remains a compelling story.

A couple of other movies I recommend are Spartans, especially the exchange 
between Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis when Spartacus (Douglas) says, ' when one 
man says no, I won't, Rome begins to fear. We were millions who said no.'  
Adapted from the novel by Howard Fast by Dalton Trumbo, up until that point 
blacklisted, this is an excellent metaphor for a socialist revolution.

The Stallone movie, FIST, is also worth a look, examining the rise and fall 
of a labor leader back around the time of the depression. Inspired, obviously, 
by the life of Jimmy Hoffa and the rise of the Teamsters, I like the scene 
where Stallone gets the men whipped up after they've seen their picket line 
broken by hired thugs.

Heady stuff indeed.


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