Children of the Revolution

Director: Peter Duncan
Screenwriters: Peter Duncan

Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


Children of the Revolution is one of a kind, part mockumentary, part communist fairy tale, and a wonderful satire. A brief synopsis utterly fails to capture its uniqueness or imagination. It tells the story of a young passionate leftist, Joan Fraser (Judy Davis, who is both captivating and convincing), whose work for world revolution in the late1940s in Australia was the unrivaled focus of her life. Suffice it to say her stream of letters to Joseph Stalin (a small, but wonderful, role played by F. Murray Abraham), who was of course the soviet premier at the time, leads to a meeting with him at the Kremlin, ending in a brief tryst that turns out to be exceptionally significant. Not only is this the finale of Stalin’s life, but it results in a son, Joe Welch, who later becomes the leader of the most powerful law-enforcement union in Australia and ends up pushing the nation to the verge of civil war.

Add in Sam Neill as Nine, a spy and double agent, and Geoffrey Rush as Joan’s faithful working-class husband, and you have the makings of a totally madcap and nearly epic farce. A mélange of comedy and tragedy, fact and fiction, Children of the Revolution is the kind of inspired filmmaking which should not be missed.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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