Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 June 2010

Trotsky admirer copies his idol

Suzanne Beishon reviews a Canadian film 'The Trotsky'.

"ONE, TWO, three, four, five, we deserve to unionise!' sing the red pom-pommed cheerleaders outside the warehouse. This is the first scene in director Jacob Tierney's 'The Trotsky', a Canadian comedy which shows the life of a high school teenager called Leon Bronstein who believes he is the reincarnation of Trotsky.

You could be forgiven for being wary of a film that comes out at a time when Trotsky's ideas are coming under increasing attack from capitalist academics. However 'The Trotsky' is a comedy fusion of Tierney's views on Trotsky: "I really liked Trotsky as a teenager... I was enamoured by Trotsky" and his wanting "to make a movie about young people who are engaged and involved politically".

At the start of the film you could conclude that Leon Bronstein is portrayed as a well meaning, idealistic idiot. However as the film goes on, it grows more sympathetic, as do his peers, to him and his ideals.

Leon Bronstein is a private schooled warehouse owner's son who leads a strike for longer breaks and better conditions for the workers in his dad's company. He is sent to state school, like Trotsky, so he can really live like his hero. As the reincarnation of Trotsky he set himself a list of tasks to achieve - '1. Start the foundation for revolution, 2. Marry an older woman - hopefully named Alexandra,' and so the list goes on. We see him attempt to fulfil the tasks based on the events and timescale of Trotsky's life.

The main story focuses on the defunct students union whose main purpose is organising dances. Leon's first intervention into his new school comes when he proposes a 'Social Justice' dance where above the entrance a banner with the slogan 'Peace, Bread and Land' hangs.

But this isn't enough. Leon wants to launch a real students union that represents students' interests like the teachers' unions do. With a small group who believe in him he leads a strike of school students with the demand of the right to set up a real union.

However his strike fails to ignite the students who treat the strike like a day off - "recess? This is supposed to be fucking revolution!" exclaims Leon.

"Are they bored or apathetic?", the principal (who believes that the strike's failure proves that students are apathetic) challenges Leon. Leon, however, believes that the students have been bored into not caring and grapples with how to awaken them out of this temporary state. In an amusing scene his friends find the way to articulate his ideas to the wider student population; 'school sucks', 'yeah', 'but should school suck?'

The film pokes fun at the irony of one of its main concepts; reincarnation - "for a Marxist you make a great Hindu". Even at its most cheesy you can't help but laugh. And where else will you find a high school comedy which references Trotsky's book My Life, Ken Loach's film Land and Freedom, Orwell's book Animal Farm, the Tiananmen Square massacre, and the film Battleship Potemkin? The film ends with him going into exile to find Lenin. Brilliant.

The film is not yet on release in Britain.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 30 June 2010:

Only one choice... Fight back!

War and occupation

Western strategy on Afghanistan in tatters

Socialist Party editorial

From stimulus to austerity at dizzying speed

No Job Cuts

Academies: Fight the Tories' offensive on state education

Opposing the slash and burn budget

Spending cuts increase deaths

'Get on your bike'

Fast news

Socialist Party workplace news

Unison general secretary election: Prentis vote falls despite Con-Dem attacks

Tube workers ballot for action

Thousands of jobcentre workers threatened with dole

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party youth and students

United for Education day of action 21 June

Students say no to rip-off graduation ceremony

No to cuts in EMA!

National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network conference: An urgent call for united working class action

International socialist news and analysis

France, Italy: Workers struggle against savage austerity cuts

Australia: Gillard replaces Rudd but Labour's right wing policies remain

Socialist Party review

Trotsky admirer copies his idol

Global Warming

Challenging the global warming sceptics


Home   |   The Socialist 30 June 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

triangleLessons of October new edition out now!

triangleTrotsky's "insightful and frank examination" of revolution out soon


triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg


triangleNasty party out the Tories

triangleYoung Socialists launched in Greater Manchester

triangleSchools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay


triangleArriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice