Marx Reloaded Review

Marx Reloaded film still

Score

This engaging hour-long talking-head-meets-animation doc examines the potentially terminal crisis of the free market system through Karl Marx.

"We are in deep shit, and we know it. But secretly, we don’t really believe it can all fall apart."

As the global economy continues to boil, and national debts and bailouts continue to heave into the trillions, these words, by rock star philosopher Slavoj Žižek, ring louder than ever. Time to dust off your copy of 'Das Kapital' and put capitalism back under the microscope.

An engaging hour-long talking-head-meets-animation doc, Marx Reloaded examines the potentially terminal crisis of the free market system through Marx, posing the question of whether late capitalism is a sustainable economic force and whether communism could provide a more viable alternative.

Barker calls on several established minds to provide a balanced stream of information.  Through interviews with the likes of Zizek, Eammon Butler of the Adam Smith Institute, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt of 'Empire' fame, and French philosopher Jacques Rancière, the film shines a light on the many causes of the financial crumble, creating a compelling dialogue of Marx’s theories on capitalism as they apply to its contemporary form.

As the film comes to a close, it seems the focus falls less on the idea of blame, as capitalism as the sole culprit, or on the viability of another form of communism despite the spectre of Soviet horrors, but more on the transformative power of new ideas. Through the slightly comical animated Matrix metaphor with Marx as Neo and Trotsky as Morpheus, the doc poses the question of "Which pill?" do we want to take: blue or red? Maybe neither.

As such, Marx Reloaded becomes more of a call to action: it is no longer about choosing from what is and has been, but of acting towards creating a third pill or ditching the pills all together; to finish reading, to start writing, and try something else.

Marx Reloaded is showing at ICA London from February 10-16. Book tickets now at ica.org.uk

Anticipation

Laden with prominent thinkers and pertinent content.

3

Enjoyment

Relevant and very engaging.

4

In Retrospect

Sticks with you and keeps you thinking.

3
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