[Marxism] Re: Frida

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed May 4 10:46:09 MDT 2005

Bob Gould wrote:
I agree with Fred Feldman's point about the inaccurate-by-casting 
picture of Trotsky as a political figure. The weakness was in the 
casting. Geoffrey Rush, one of my favourite character actors by a 
country mile, was badly miscast playing Trotsky, and Clancy's response 
to Louis about the mechanics of making a major feature film seems 

I disagree with Bob Gould's attempt to shift responsibility to the actor
Geoffrey Rush from the director and scriptwriter (Clancy Sigal) for the
incredibility of Trotsky.  I think the lines Trotsky is given are the
problem (and I leave aside whether Trotsky and Kahlo had an affair and
so on -- there is nothing slanderous about this claim, one way or
another, as I see Trotsky).  The one affecting scene Trotsky
participates in is the one where he tells Kahlo that he must end their
relationship (whether the relationship occurred or not, in judging the
movie I am not primarily concerned about facts as such) because of his
loyalty and love for
Natalia.  Rush is very credible at this moment.  He knows how to do

It has some power. This is not a bad movie in my opinion, leaving aside
its truthfulness-- and it is not a demonization of Trotsky. Sections
dealing with Trotsky's politics suffer from their falseness to reality.
They are weakened. Sigal and Rush can deal with Trotsky as a simple
human being but they cannot present him as a revolutionary human being.
And this scene also seems relatively TRUE, whether the affair occurred
or not, to the personality of Trotsky.

Who can portray Trotsky effectively? Certainly not characters whose MAIN
characteristic is their literariness or artistic nature, which most
(including this movie and more absurdly, movies like Karel Reisz's
Morgan!) films  which take up Trotsky overwhelmingly fail to do. This
was above all a man of action LIKE Lenin or Marx, also great writers
each in their way.
Fred Feldman

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