CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION
This mock epic black comedy, with its notions of comedy and
tragedy, fact and fiction, is a strange story of a beautiful
young Australian communist (BYAC) from the early days of the Cold
War through to Australia in the 90s. BYAC makes a pilgrimage to
Moscow, meets Stalin, accidentally kills him while making love
and comes back to Australia carrying his love child. He grows up
to be pretty pesky.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Peter Duncan’s originality is
marvellous, but I wish he could have stretched it just one more
degree, and injected the bravura of his first idea into the
second half of the film, where the son of Stalin struts the
screen. Here, a bold, even bizarre lunge is needed to sustain the
high flying act one. The film delivers chunks of entertainment,
though, and looks expensive.
The inventive production design makes me think of loaves and
fishes: how much you can do with so little money. I visited the
set that was used for the wintry exteriors of the Kremlin, and
saw first hand how crafty these craftspeople are.
Judy Davis plays Joan (Joan of Arc in a complex metaphor?) with
great feeling for the character, and by playing the drama, she
invests the film with its footing. Her ageing is AFI, BAFTA,
Caesar and Oscar winning quality make up.
As for Sam Neill, I think this is one of my favourite roles for
Review by Louise Keller:
Peter Duncan has created an
imaginative and entertaining black comedy which oozes
originality. Judy Davis is outstanding and gives a most
convincing performance. Sam Neill excels at this kind of dry,
witty role, similar to that of his role in Death in Brunswick.
There seems to be something missing in the second half of the
film, but it is livened up considerably by Rachel Griffiths’
sound performance as the policewoman who enjoys a little sadistic
pleasure. Watch for a memorable cameo by F.Murray Abraham as
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CAST: Judy Davis, Sam Neill,
Richard Roxburgh, Geoffrey Rush, Rachel Griffiths, F.Murray
Abraham, Russell Kiefel, John Gaden.
PRODUCER: Tristram Miall
DIRECTOR: Peter Duncan
SCRIPT: Peter Duncan
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Martin McGrath
EDITOR: Simon Martin
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Roger Ford
RUNNING TIME: 99 min.
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December
RoadshowUS release: May 1 1997 (New York) May 8 elsewhere
AWARDS: AFI Awards 1996: Best
Original Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Production Design; Best
Aust. Film Critics: Best
Original Screenplay, Best Actress