Release year: 2004
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Director Jean-Luc Godard, whose advocacy of Maoism bordered on intoxication, infuriated many traditionalist critics with his swiftly paced satire La Chinoise. Godard's then-wife Anne Wiazemsky plays a philosophy student who commiserates with the four members of her campus Maoist group.
They are so taken by the external trappings of their cause--the posters, the Little Red Books, the by-rote chantings--that they seem not to grasp the true meaning of their political persuasion. Nor do they give any thought to the long-range ramifications of their terrorist activities.
Godard is obviously on the students' side throughout, though he balances their fanaticism with the comparative gentility of old-style revolutionaries. Nonfans of Godard were given migraines by the director's perverse refusal to film even the simplest sequence in a linear, logical fashion.
La Chinoise quickly gained the reputation of a head film, best appreciated when the viewer is stoned. In these PC days, the audience for this sort of film is generally straight...which may be why it has seldom been shown in recent years.