Friday, April 8, 2011

Carlos the Jackal

Carlos the Jackal movie, french director, Olivier Assayas.  Fascinating!. I grew up on the Jackal.  Forsyth and the Cold War novels.  The proto terrorists.  Carlos was the Osama bin Laden of the day.  The IRA were bombing buildings when I lived in England.  Che was a romantic doctor.  The University of London bourgeosie communists were all the rage. They're so passe today.  My classmates in medical school from rich families upset Papa and Mama by becoming Trotskyites or Maoists before going on to be Lawyers, Bankers and Doctors. They were so silly. I knew it at the time. They took themselves so seriously. I took myself too seriously and  I was only  reading Gandhi and Martin Luther King.  I was marching for peace while these kids were fighting each other in the streets.  The Stockholm Syndrome got it's name from those days.  The left wing women were the sexiest.  They were the heart of liberation.  The men were talk, hair triggers and cowardly. Vietnam vets were coming home with far away looks while these 'cafe revolutionaries' preened and pranced.  The movies touched on that. I admired Carlos for his functional genius.  He 'achieved' something.  He was 'professional'.  So many of the other revolutionaries seems so amateurish. It was a serious affair. The Palestinians and the Zionists. The communists and later the Islamists.  I met some of each in Europe.  My friends were Israelis. They'd fought on the border but I met Palestinians who told their own story. I was dancing and laughing, Canadian on walk about from university.  It was all so different from Fort Garry and Riverheights.
The movie showed the old men with vengeance and the young men with something to prove.  The women were all so sexy.  Everyone had guns.  Guns for causes.  Guns for ideals.  Not just gangs, robberies and drugs.  Killing had a WWI high minded flair. Not like the post Vietnam ennui.  Middle east as simply tribal.  Proto national.  I loved the character who played Jackal, Edgar Ramirez. All the characters were so real. True drama.   I liked the movie even if it was long  at times.  As much documentary as fiction.  In the end there's the story of the aging man.  Hunted.  Sad.  Like Elvis and Michael Jackson.  Aging poorly.  French with english subtitles.  Given the significance of the Carlos to the rise of Homeland Security and need for all the measures of airport security today, it's a very important movie.  I would recommend it for sure..  More as History, Political Science and a day in one  man's life.  There's another era.  It seems so long ago for yesterday.  Little has changed too.  More complicated.  We all grow fat in our own ways.

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