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Children of the Revolution [Import]

Judy Davis , Sam Neill , Peter Duncan    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Australia's most consistently fascinating export, Judy Davis has made a career of playing intriguingly high-strung women with a hilariously icy edge. Here, she plays the leader of Australia's Communist Party in the early 1950s whose struggles to keep the party alive are rewarded with a trip to Russia to meet Stalin himself (F. Murray Abraham). The meeting turns into a seduction, and she returns to Australia carrying Stalin's love child. So it's no surprise when her son Joe (Richard Roxburgh) grows up to be a political rabble-rouser, bringing the country to the brink of disaster. Filmed in mockumentary fashion by writer-director Peter Duncan, the film is never quite as funny as you wish it would be, but works as well as it does because of the performances by Rush and, particularly, Davis. --Marshall Fine

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Info! Aug. 30 2007
Format:DVD
Starring: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Richard Roxburgh, Rachel Griffiths
Run Time: 121 minutes
Rated: 14a
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1
Languages: English or Spanish dubbed
Synopsis: A blindly idealistic Australian Communist believes so fervently in the Revolution that she writes weekly love letters to Joseph Stalin, conceives his child (or so she believes), and raises a son in the tradition of iron-fisted tyranny. A scathing, idiosyncratic satire of ideological zealotry in general, comprising straight narrative, newsreels and archival footage, and farcical comedy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tears of Laughter and Tears of Sadness Nov. 25 1999
By Petro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
I felt this movie is one of the best films I have ever seen in my life. As a Communist, I first assumed the movie was just a farce of stalinist Russia. Throughout the first 30 minutes, I laughed a lot. I thought the notion of some-one as evil as Stalin singing and dancing is funny, to me. I really felt with the main charrecter and her ideology, except her love of Stalin, and was happy that she finally realises he was evil. At the end, the Son (concieved by Stalin) turns into his father, and proclaims that he is doing the work of the Revolution. It gives a good example of Stalin's acts and how they ruined Lenin's Russia.
Children of the Revolution is a brilliant film, and Leninists and true Communists can plainly see this.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The difference a moustache can make Jan. 10 2002
By Alessandro Bruno - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
This is an extremely original and well made farce. the film is generally comical but there are some tragic overtones throughout. The story of the idealist leader of the Australian communists earns a trip to meet Stalin in Moscow. The visit provides the setting for some of the funniest moments in the film. The idea of Stalin dancing and singing is funny in itself, imagine watching it realized on screen. But this comical interlude provides the crucial elemnt of the plot, the conception of Stalin's son. His identity is kept secret by his mother, but through a series of fortuitous circumstances Joe (thta's his name palyed by Roxburgh) becomes a union leader and organizes the police force. Hints are given throughout his childhood, he loves handcuffs for instance - leading to a steamy scene with a seduced policewoman. as a result of an 'accident' he has to grow a moustache and discovers his true personality after this event. There is sadness also, but I felt it beyond the plot or film itself. The mockery is certainly funny but it's undeniable that many idealists were betrayed by Stalin and his unbound evil. Communism in the Soviet union (and elsewhere) might have developed differently had Stalin not hijacked it. Now we're left with no alternatives and embarking on a dangerous course of increasing inequality. The film ironizes and does an excellent job (Judy Davis' excellent acting apart) of showing the demoralization of an idealist who has to face the sad reality and the poor 'loves' of the past. I saw the film twice and remember it with an ironic smile. Highly recommended
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wicked July 20 2000
By Froster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
A real find. The film starts out as a broad satire (perhaps just a bit too broad), then sharpens to a steely point in the second half.Judy Davis has never been more ferocious (and that's really saying something). A romp, but one that leaves bruises. Grab it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful acting, marred slightly by pronounced tonal shift. March 5 2000
By D. Mok - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Children of the Revolution features a host of great actors -- Judy Davis, F. Murray Abraham, Sam Neill, Richard Roxburgh -- and two extremely moving low-key performances by Geoffrey Rush and Rachel Griffiths. Just that cast alone can sustain a hell of a lot, and Children of the Revolution isn't shy about pitting them against one another.
The beginning and middle of the movie are deft blends of socio-political satire and personal drama, laughter and emotion. It's too bad that in the second half of Act 2 it takes a turn for melodrama. Given the calibre of the acting, it works (Griffiths plays especially nicely against Davis, and Rush -- his character increasingly isolated in the story -- is bewitching), but I wish there could've been more of a mix of the comic and the tragic near the end of the movie. The comedy wasn't so much forgotten (the "Ronald McDonald" bit, and the last interview with "Joe Welch" still hit the funny bone) as underweighted in the final parts of the story. The film deserves credit, nonetheless, for even aiming towards this complicated mix in the first place and succeeding 90% of the time. And the setups and subplots are brilliant -- Anna's Latvian background weaving into the Dave-Joan relationship; Welch's jealousy of Stalin; Joe's eventual megalomania; the cellmate and future assassin; even the final hilarious reveal about Anna and Dave was set up.
A small but bright gem, not easy to discover (the eye-popping video cover helped), but well worth the hunt.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex, convoluted, satire that works on many levels. Dec 15 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
An historical satire, farce and family drama all in one film. Kinky sex (bondage, leather) midway through the film makes it unsuitable for children. The movie begins in a pseudo documentary fashion following the political life of a fiery young woman who is the core of the workers revolution in her corner of Australia. Her devotion to Stalin is total "Stalin is more than one person. it is through Stalin that we all achieve our goals." It even extends to a trip to Moscow - this is a really funny part of the movie - sex and death with the great man and the conception of a son. Who she names Joe. The rest of the film concentrates more on Joe. Joe is an extremely sympathetic character, putting up with his difficult mother, coming to terms with his evil heritage. But to say anymore would be to give away too much. Sam Neil and Geoffrey Rush put in good performances. The writing is superb. Best movie I have watched in years. Worth several viewings. Hard core leftists should avoid it.
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