[Marxism] The Citizen | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jul 6 08:30:55 MDT 2018

When I was in high school, I had a very good English teacher who after 
assigning Henrik Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler” warned us to pay careful 
attention to the pistols in Act One that Hedda Gabler shows off to a 
houseguest. They were inherited from her father and supposedly useful 
for killing time in a stultifying bourgeois household. Whenever you see 
a pistol or a knife in a play early on, he told us, that creates an 
uneasy foreshadowing of their being used in the final act. The titular 
character, bored and frustrated in the same way as Madame Bovary and 
other Victorian-era housewives, does end up shooting herself in the head.

At the beginning of “The Citizen”, a Hungarian film directed by Roland 
Vranik that opens today at the Metrograph theater in New York, we meet 
the main character Wilson Ugabe, a refugee from Guinea-Bissau, being 
grilled by a Hungarian immigration official, a member of a three-person 
panel, to determine whether he is entitled to become a citizen. “Tell me 
something about Hungarian art in the Renaissance.” “Do you remember what 
the Corvins were?” “Humanism”? Wilson remains silent, as you’d expect 
from having to take the Hungarian version of a test African-Americans 
took during the Jim Crow era to become registered to vote.

full: https://louisproyect.org/2018/07/06/the-citizen/

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