Children of the Revolution

* * * 1/2*

Children of the Revolution is a vibrantly sharp satire of Communism, fanaticism, and questions of identity. Judy Davis portrays Joan, a die-hard Australian marxist, just awaiting the workers of the world to revolt. After many impassioned letters to her idol, Josef Stalin, she finally gets invited to Moscow, where the man himself (F. Murray Abraham) takes a special liking to her. Leaving Moscow, she finds herself pregnant, and back in Australia she begins to raise a little revolutionary of her own. However, young Joe (Richard Roxburgh) has plans of his own. Yet, he is plagued by the identity of his father. Could it be Welch (Geoffrey Rush), the man who helped Joan raise him, Nine (Sam Neill), a governmental free agent, or the infamous Josef Stalin himself? Judy Davis handles the central role with a fervent passion, as she clings to the ideal of Communism, while the world drifts away. All the actors do a good job all around, and they're aided by a very smartly written script. The film could have used some tighter pacing, but overall it is a good first outing by director Peter Duncan. (Miramax)

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