Dir. Raoul Peck (118 min, France, 2017) EnglishGermanFrench with English subtitles Narrative
Fresh off the success of his James Baldwin documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, Haitian-born director Raoul Peck tackles the early days of the friendship between Karl Marx (August Diehl) and Friedrich Engels (Stefan Konarske) as they struggle to establish the Communist Party and complete the Communist Manifesto.
In his mid-20s, Marx was already a veteran of the class wars when he met 22-year-old Engels, son of a rich textile manufacturer. From the smoky cafes of Paris, where nightly strategy sessions form the basis of what was to become the manifesto, to the socialist enclaves of London, where Marx, with Engels in tow, chose to live after the French authorities expelled him, Peck and his legendary screenwriter Pascal Bonitzer (Chantal Ackerman’s Golden Eighties, André Téchiné’s Scene of the Crime, Jacques Rivette’s La Belle noiseuse ) revel in the world of ideas and hopes for the future embodied in these two world-historical figures.
-Note adapted from the Vancouver International Film Festival
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