‘Blame It on Fidel’

Here’s an excerpt of the review of what sounds like a fascinating film:

Fernando and Marie give up their respective jobs as lawyer and writer for Marie Claire magazine and become intimately involved with Salvador Allende’s election in Chile. Soon, they have fired Filomena (the Cuban nanny), who hates Castro and all the “rojos barbudos” (bearded reds) responsible for taking her land back home and forcing her into exile, and they’ve withdrawn Anna (their daughter who grows fearful of her parents’ politics, and rightly so) from her religion class. As their apartment becomes increasingly invaded by activists who refer to her as their “pequeña momia,” Spanish for “little mummy,” which was what Chilean left-wingers called right-wingers at the time, Anna takes refuge in her bourgeois grandparents, who tell her it’s one thing to be polite to the poor and another to let them take one’s property.

But here’s my favorite part, sad though it may be:

When Anna, finally ready to concede to her parents, misinterprets their belief in group solidarity and answers a question incorrectly in class because everyone else answered incorrectly, her parents are stumped. What’s the difference between group solidarity and behaving like sheep?

But why should her parents be stumped? That is what communism is and has always been about: acting, being and thinking like a sheep, being one with the “collective” no matter how wrong the collective is.

Oopsie: the name of the film, of course, is “Blame It on Fidel.”

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