Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Sunday, February 28, 2010


I went to see Clint Eastwood's Invictus the other day. I haven't got a great deal to say about it, and what I do have to say will certainly be way too soft - for a serious Marxist critique see the piece by Louis Proyect - but for someone for whom the 1995 Rugby world cup was a distant schoolboy memory, and at the time almost certainly an event viewed purely as a dramatic sporting spectacle (and I fear, probably if supporting onyone, then supporting the England side of if I remember rightly Will Carling and Jeremy Guscott - these being my 'pre-Marx' days) it was a little enlightening. Moreover, given Michael Moore's new film is going to be bloody hard to track down at the British box office, it ain't a bad film to see (though if you can still catch it, definitely check out A Prophet). The heady mix of race, sport and politics which runs throughout Invictus put me a little in mind of such epics as Escape to Victory, and while perhaps coming close to being a tiny little bit grating in one or two places, its gentle, liberal anti-racist message is timely at a time when fascist parties in Britain are standing on a programme and propagating policies rather akin to those in apartheid South Africa. For a sense of contemporary South Africa, with its grotesque inequalities and poverty, on film, one is much better off seeing a film like Tsotsi, while something of the power and glory of the anti-apartheid liberation struggle is captured in Amandla!.

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