The light French feature film Blame It on Fidel, a child’s view of how experience shapes our political consciousness, screens on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven.
The film centers on a whip-smart, feisty Parisian girl, Anna, who is forced to make sense of cataclysmic changes in her life after her parents decide to devote themselves full-time to radical activism.
It is 1970, and Anna’s father is fighting to redistribute wealth in Chile, while her mother doggedly researches a book on women’s abortion ordeals. Meanwhile, Anna must adjust to refugee nannies with strange cooking habits, a cramped apartment filled with noisy, scruffy revolutionaries, and the humiliation of no longer being allowed to attend her beloved catechism class.
The fun of Blame It on Fidel is watching Anna (Nina Kervel) valiantly sort through the contradictory ideologies flying at her — from communism to Greek mythology, from Vietnamese folktales to Catholic morality. The film’s emotional power arises from Anna’s transformation from bourgeois princess to open-hearted truth seeker, and her gradual internalization of what her parents, clumsily, are trying to accomplish.
The film runs 100 minutes; it is not rated, and screens in French with English subtitles.