A Grin Without a Cat ★★★★½

Contrast with the Adam Curtis films: Marker much more interested in images for their own sake (when the camera begins to shake, silent movie-style tinting, callbacks to Potemkin), more willing to let people speak for themselves (I've never seen Castro speak at such length in a film before), his narration is more personal, but because it's diffused over dozens of different voices (including Jim Broadbent, Simone Signoret and Yves Montand, but not Marker himself) it has a universality that Curtis's one man telling a story of history style does not.

Version on FilmStruck has new voiceover over the final images which was recorded in 1992. A look back at this history of leftist hope and disintegration from a time when all that seemed so important then appeared to have collapsed with the Soviet Union. And yet, 25 years after that the old conflicts (between reform and revolution, between intellectuals and workers) suddenly seem more vital than ever.

"A cat is never on the side of power."

"15 years later, some wolves still survive."

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