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CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION

SYNOPSIS:
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 him."

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 Stalin.

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AUSTRALIA

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.

RATING: M

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 26, 1996

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

US release: May 1 1997 (New York) May 8 elsewhere

AWARDS: AFI Awards 1996: Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Production Design; Best Costume Design

Aust. Film Critics: Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress







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