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Australia 1996
Directed by
Peter Duncan
101 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Children Of The Revolution

Using a mock documentary style to frame the story of Joan Fraser (Judy Davis), a fervent Communist during the Menzies era so devoted to The Party that she ends up bearing a son to Joseph Stalin (played by F. Murray Abraham), writer/director Peter Duncan’s film is reasonably entertaining, sometimes heavy-handed yet adventurous for a film industry which usually sticks close to local issues..

Based on Duncan’s family history (his grandfather was a card-carrying Communist in the 40s), unlike so many Australian period films which adhere to domestic detail, Children Of The Revolution both attempts to relate the Australia of the period to world events (it might be considered as comedic version of Beatty’s Reds, 1981) and takes a relatively elliptical approach to its narrative, probably as much for budgetary as artistic reasons.

Geoffrey Rush plays Joan’s boyfriend, Richard Roxburgh the grown-up offspring of Joan and Joe, whilst Sam Neill and Rachel Griffiths round out a considerably talented cast.




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