by Susanna Nicchiarelli
Italian film, 1 h 47
Failing to read The capitalwe know Karl Marx, at least in broad outline, his analysis of the class struggle, his revolutionary activity within the labor movement, his influence in the humanities and his photography as a white-bearded patriarch.
Of his youngest daughter, one of the only three who survived of the six children of the Marx couple, we often do not even know the first name. Susanna Nicchiarelli, director of Nico, 1988muse of Andy Warhol and iconic singer of the group The Velvet Underground, is working to highlight it.
The film opens in March 1883 at the funeral of Karl Marx in London. It is Eleanor, aged 28, who pays a vibrant tribute to him in front of family and lifelong friends, retracing in particular his romantic trajectory with his mother, Jenny, with whom he is buried.
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The young woman nicknamed Tussy obviously has a strong personality. Her father’s secretary, she is also passionate about theatre, which led her to meet Edward Aveling, a prominent journalist and playwright. She offers to follow her to the United States for a trip organized by the Socialist Party to meet American workers.
An original tone, both historic and contemporary
miss marx manages to find an original tone, historic and contemporary, in a strange alchemy. The film depicts Tussy’s personal life right down to her love affairs, essential it is true since they will lead her to suicide.
Of course, he is also committed to his social and political commitments. She visits the factories, is interested in the often catastrophic working conditions of their employees, which is supported by the feature film with archive images. The idea quickly came to Eleanor that among the most oppressed, women are even more oppressed, laying the foundations of a social feminism.
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Flashbacks show the stimulating and fervent atmosphere in which she grew up with her father and Friedrich Engels. From the credits, miss marx in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2020, installs a punk rock soundtrack which, curiously, works wonderfully with the narrative, underlining its modernity. An impression reinforced by an invigorating staging in these Victorian settings and the interpretation of Romola Garai, fragile and determined.