The Young Karl Marx


Biography / Drama / History


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May 13, 2018 at 04:04 PM



as Karl Marx
as Friedrich Engels
as Jenny von Westphalen-Marx
as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
720p 1080p
960.34 MB
01 hr 58 min
P/S 0 / 12
1.75 GB
01 hr 58 min
P/S 0 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jakob13 9 / 10

Marx Thinks as does Engels...a glorious collaboratopn

Rauol Peck has never shied away from difficult subjects: Lamumba and James Baldwin. Now, he has taken on Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 'Young Karl Marx'.
This film won't earn him much in the US, a country which has done much to suppress Marx's thoughts and has waged a ferocious campaign to emasculate its own Communist Party and wither on the vine democratic socialism.
Marxism is taught drily and negatively on university campuses today, as a failure and a foil to triumphant global capitalism.
Peck's film , splendid in the use of the camera, capturing as it does, the ravages of early industrialization in the textile mill the Engels owned in Manchester, the miserable condition of workers, child labor, misery of the cannon fodder that fed what Blake called 'Satanic mills', and the general impoverishment of the laboring class. In Germany, in Prussia, the reign of the feudal king who exercises the rights of a feudal lord with it heavy burden on the peasantry, but in whose university slowly burns revolutionary thought that await the flame to blaze, and in Guizot's France tightly held on a leash any attempt other than fancy theories to arouse the people as they did in 1789.
Americans find in general history tiresome, being a society open to the future where the past counts little. They little tolerance for grand theory or discussions, fiery public meetings, respectful exchanges of ideas that command our attention, but mostly in the mouths of demagogues. Like the majority of Americans, they have little tolerance for philosophical discussions, and abstractions bore them no end. The millions that in slavery and wage slavery that built capitalism count for little.
So, Peck's 'Young Marx' plunges into the tense, tight theories of Socialist theory of romantics and materialists in the first half of the 19 century, that left its mark even today in the 21 century.
Peck's camera and his principal actors August Diehl as the spirited Marx and Stefan Kornaske ass his life long partner and collaborator in struggle as Engels, wage serious battle against Proudhon and Wietling and Bakounin for example, against the Young Hegelians, against Bauer and Feuerbach and Rugge ..names that have some resonance today, and are best read of say in the works of GDH Cole or Wilson's 'To the Finland Station'. Argumentation and debate were fierce, and Marx suffered fools not gladly, nor did Engels who had a smoother manner.
Marx and Engels love and turning the other cheek in the fight for the working class whom they saw as the future, and a spearhead of equality that even today's America fear seek through the courts to weaken further so that the the coupon clipeers and the ruling finace capitalists can fully have their way and increase profits and political power and control globally in the full expression of raw exploitation.
Marx insisted that 'philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point is to change it'; they have put theory on its head, but he and Engels turn it around and put it on its feet. And the fruit of their theoretical struggle and intimate knowledge of the material conditions of the working class came to fruition in the writing (jointly) of the 'Communist Manifesto' that signaled the outbreak of revolution. So on top of the moment were this pair that the Revolutions of 1848 broke only weeks later, sweeping away the vestiges of feudalism in the German Holy Roman Empire, and spurred the national struggle throughout an industrializing Europe. The 'Manifesto' is wonderfully written and still hold water today, despite attacks...even in our age of reaction.
'The Young Marx' is in three languages: German, French and English. Peck has assembled a first rate cast and with flair and much artistry conveyed the passions of the young Marx and Engels.
Peck's film hasn't a wide distribution, alas. And yet, in the small art house I saw it, the 100 seats were fully occupied, by people of all ages and 'middle class' conditions. The film reviewers on the whole have sort to express impatience in seeing the 'Young Marx",making large yawns and little effort to understand Peck's cinematic vocation in tackling Marx and Engels' thinking and activism. At the end Peck has footage of how wide and vast Marx's influence is: May 1968 in France, Vietnam War protest in the USA, Lumumba, and Mandela, for example. When Marx died Engels tribute sums his life up: Marx didn't die, he ceased to think.

Reviewed by eurvater-908-159430 9 / 10

Karl Marx, his wife Jenny, Frederick Engels and his wife Mary and their fight against the horrors of early industrial capitalism.

Six years ago I stumbled upon a Charlie Rose interview with author Mary Gabriel, a 2011 National Book Award finalist for her Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution. Intrigued, I ordered Gabriel's book. By the time I finished Love and Capital I was, as the British say, "gob smacked." What puzzled and surprised me, as a filmmaker, was that this turbulent epic, utterly engrossing and deeply romantic, had attracted so little attention. Why had this story not made it to the big screen, or materialized into a blockbuster television series? Is the name Karl Marx still so anathema? Then, last Sunday, a new film titled The Young Karl Marx (Le Jeune Karl Marx) which premiered at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival, suddenly found its way to the Amherst Cinema.

In spite of some tepid reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, curiosity lured me to the screening. I have no regrets: The Young Karl Marx (YKM) is a rare and unusual film?beautifully-acted by a stellar cast, craftily scripted, and heavily focused on political content and character. Here is how Peter Bradshaw reviewed it in the Guardian/UK: "Raoul Peck is the Haitian film-maker who has an Oscar nomination this year with his James Baldwin documentary I Am Not Your Negro. Now he comes to Berlin with this sinewy and intensely focused, uncompromisingly cerebral period drama?about the birth of communism in the mid-19th century. It gives you a real sense of what radical politics was about: talk. There is talk, talk and more talk. It should be dull, but it isn't. Somehow the spectacle of fiercely angry people talking about ideas becomes absorbing and even gripping."

At the film's center is its title character, played brilliantly by August Diehl. Bradshaw describes Diehl's Marx as "ragged, fierce with indignation and poverty, addicted to cheap cigars, spoiling for an argument and a fight." This is the notoriously nasty side of the Marx persona. But as Gabriel's book, and many other biographies reveal, Marx's character is fascinatingly complex. I have often tried to imagine what Marx must have been like, but been unable to wrap my brain around his multi-sided character. Exploring the complexities of Marx, the man, is perhaps the film's greatest strength.

For starters, Marx was viewed by his contemporaries as smart as a whip. Moses Hess, a socialist and early Zionist, provides this over-the- top description to his friends of 24-year old Marx: "?you can look forward to meeting the greatest, perhaps the only real philosopher now living. ?He combines a biting wit with deeply serious philosophical thinking. Imagine Rousseau, Voltaire, Holbach, Lessing, Heine and Hegel united in one person, I say united, not lumped together ? and you have Dr. Marx." Edmund Wilson described Marx as the greatest satirist since Jonathan Swift.

But he was also a pussy cat: Wilhelm Liebknecht, who was constantly in the household during the 1850s, remembered Marx as "the most tender father: one must have seen Marx with his children to obtain a complete notion of the depths of sentiment and the childlike nature of this hero of Wissenschaft (academic pursuit). In his free minutes, or while strolling, he brought them along, played the wildest and most lively games with them? in short he was a child among children. "Children should educate their parents," said Marx, and lived up to the dictum by keeping in step with the reading, entering the fantasy life and adjusting his views to meet the religious scruples of his engaging youngest daughter, Tussy. Marx tells her the story of the Passion ?"the carpenter whom the rich men killed," adding that much can be forgiven Christianity because it has taught the adoration of the child.

Because YKM dramatizes only a short five year period in Marx's life (1842 to 1847) a great deal of the Marx family saga remains untold: childhood and family life in Trier; Marx's scorching love affair with the baron's daughter, Jenny von Westphalen; the crucial role of his wife and three daughters in aiding and abetting him at every turn; Karl's betrayal of Jenny goes public when Lenchen, the family housekeeper, gives birth to Karl's illegitimate son Freddy, leaving it to Engels to save Marx's bacon by falsely claiming paternity of the boy, thereby rescuing Karl and Jenny's marriage. Perhaps these fascinating omissions will be addressed when the Marx family saga finally becomes a long-running television series--whenever that may come to pass. While we wait, Le Jeune Karl Marx is well worth the price of admission.

Reviewed by Will Jeffery 8 / 10

It is what it is; bringing the young Marx to life though people wanting more may be disappointed

'A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of communism'. These are the opening lines of the Communist Manifesto which ironically is the film's conclusion. We learn that the purpose of the opening paragraph in the manifesto was to be simple and straight to the point, while saying so much. That's what this film is and what it did so well, draw the viewer into a simple world of major importance and complexity. "Substance, but no style!" Is what I heard people say as they left the cinema. Hmm, I'm not sure if I agree...well, fully. Indeed the film had its flaws and yes, it lacked urgency to go read Marxism but what we did get was the man himself and his 'world'. The title using 'young' is realistic; a man most known for the 'birth' of communism is the premise of the film and it was super compelling. This film could have had more style sure, but what is style if there is no substance. Communism has a collaborative process so it was great to see its collaborative side through a fantastic supporting cast ushered by an intelligent screenplay, though the film may be overwhelming for some with its excessive discussion of 'Marxist' philosophy. You never see Marx in a room by himself which ignores an independent or 'hero' image that he may be associated with because he was honestly a family man who liked to chat and have a good laugh. A family man, with the help of his friends, produced the product (The Communist Manifesto) that the film ends with in its final scene and is ultimately what the film is about.

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