Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

January 8, 2021


Filed under: Brazil,Counterpunch,Film,Guerrilla warfare — louisproyect @ 4:58 pm


“Marighella” hearkens back to the best political films of the 1960s like Gillo Pontecorvo’s “The Battle of Algiers” and Costa-Gravas’s “State of Siege”. Set in 1968, it tells the story of Carlos Marighella’s desperate struggle against the military dictatorship in Brazil. Founder and leader of Ação Libertadora Nacional (ALN), Marighella was just one of many revolutionaries in Latin America who broke with the Communist Party to launch either an urban or rural guerrilla group hoping to emulate the July 26th Movement in Cuba. Unlike “The Battle of Algiers,” this story does not have a happy ending. The film concludes with the Brazilian cops firing dozens of rounds into Marighella’s body as he sits in the driver’s seat of a parked VW Beetle. Like Steven Soderbergh’s “Che,” it is a tragedy about the failure of the revolutionary left in Latin America to help realize Che’s call for “Two, Three, Many Vietnams.” There were many embryonic Vietnams but they all aborted. Unlike Cuba or Vietnam, there was never a social base adequate to the revolutionary goals. To the credit of director Wagner Moura, this is the overarching theme of this film that will be of supreme interest to CounterPunch readers.

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  1. A State of Siege was filmed in Allende’s Chile which makes 1968 a little early… maybe you’re thinking of “Z”?

    Comment by McKinlay — January 8, 2021 @ 11:57 pm

  2. The film was made in 1972 but it covers the same period as “Marighella”. I should have made that clearer.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 9, 2021 @ 12:07 am

  3. In the midst of a fascist putsch you’re reviewing movies that no one will ever see. No wonder the fascists now have millions of active supporters while the left can’t even fill a stadium. Fuck this shit

    Comment by Jon Vitale — January 9, 2021 @ 9:04 pm

  4. Eat shit and die, you motherfucker. As to the substance, we are not in danger of a fascist coup as I have said repeatedly starting with this. I hope that despite being hampered by an IQ under 85, you might learn from it: https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/10/09/fascism-trumpism-and-the-left/

    Comment by louisproyect — January 9, 2021 @ 11:53 pm

  5. Comrade, 71 million people voted for Trump. Most of them own guns and know how to use them. Many have military or police training. All militias and many churches are involved. Professional polling says 45% of registered Republican voters support the attack on the Capitol. I fear my left wing friends are isolated in their bubbles and ignoring the realities of what is to come. This is very serious.

    Comment by Skip Kraken — January 10, 2021 @ 7:48 am

  6. And the relationship between this and the film is what exactly?

    Comment by louisproyect — January 10, 2021 @ 1:52 pm

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