Alejandro Rath’s Manifest is an ironic and witty re-enactment of the historic meeting between French writer, poet, and the father of surrealism, André Breton and Russian revolutionary, Bolshevik leader, and Marxist theorist Leon Trotsky. During their intensive collaboration, a new manifesto is born. The text Towards a Free Revolutionary Art (1938) was written fourteen years after Breton’s legendary Manifesto of Surrealism and two years before Trotsky was assassinated by a Spanish communist while in exile in Mexico. The time is shortly before World War II when Stalin was ruling Russia and Hitler in Germany.
Speaking to dead intellectuals
The film is more than a documentary. It is the director’s and actors’ Iván Moschner’s and Pompeyo Audivert’s conversation with dead intellectuals. It’s a love song to both Trotsky’s and Breton’s ideas and, at the same time, an irony about the obsession with Marxist and Freudian concepts.
The film is not black and white, it’s not shot in an old villa, Trotsky’s character doesn’t speak with a Russian accent. On the contrary – Manifest is coloured and staged in a contemporary setting, it is shot in Argentina (not Mexico), and the Russian and French intellectuals speak Spanish. However, the minimalist framing …
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