Movie Review: The Trotsky

Hubby and I followed one of those internet rabbit holes that pop up sometimes, and discovered this movie. I was watching an Arcade Fire music video, My Body is a Cage, on you tube, and another video of theirs, Intervention, popped up, and Hubby clicked on it.

This video is the song set to the 1925 silent movie “Battleship Potemkin”. You may be familiar with the famous “Odessa Staircase” scene, where the Russian soldiers are marching down seemingly-endless stairs massacring civilians. A mother is shot on the stairs, and as she falls down, dead, she accidentally pushes her baby in its carraige down the steps. We then decided to read about the movie on wikipedia, which had a section called “In Popular Culture”. That section lists other movies and things that have referenced it.

That’s how we stumbled upon the movie “The Trotsky”. It’s about a high school senior who believes he’s the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky. After holding a hunger strike and trying to unionize his father’s factory, he is forced to attend public school. He then decides the students deserve to have a union so that the school system has to actually educate them, rather than functioning like a prison system.

Hubby and I both really liked it. It was very funny and clever. The way the main character, Leon, rebels against the school system and administration is very smart, and I wish I’d had as much motivation when I was in high school. Rather than just whining about how stupid the dress code is when some people can’t even read at a functional level, he addresses the contradictions inherent in the school system. Students are expected to be as responsible as adults, and yet also to do as they’re told, like children.

If I had watched this in high school, I would seriously have tried to stage a walk-out at some point (possibly). We really enjoyed this movie, and some of the one-liners are classics. If you know anything about the history of the Communist movement, it has a whole other level of humor as well. On the Clever Chick scale, this gets a “I will quote it, probably watch it again, and recommend it to friends, but it’s for a niche audience”.

May 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Movie Reviews. Leave a comment.