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Rated NR · 333 min. · 2010

This captivating, exhausting, biographical narrative portrait of notorious international terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, aka Carlos the Jackal, began as a French made-for-TV three-part mini-series, and filmmaker Olivier Assayas lavishes his customary detail on it, to the point of (you’ll excuse the expression) overkill. As the Venezuelan leftist revolutionary, who operated from the 1970s to the Nineties in a dizzying array of locales in Europe and the Middle East, actor Edgar Ramírez (also from Venezuela) gets under the skin of a sincerely committed man whose deadly career – assassinations, bombings, etc. – gradually takes on its own life. We end up asking ourselves: What is a revolutionary after all? And what is a just cause worth dying for? No easy answers here, but plenty of characters and enough procedural action to supply any handful of movie spy thrillers. The huge cast includes Alexander Scheer, Ahmad Kaabour, Nora von Waldstätten, Juana Acosta, and Talal El-Jordi as “Ali.” Breakneck montage, as if director Assayas were trying to cram a few more incidents into its five-and-a-half hours. The labyrinthine screenplay is by Dan Franck and Assayas (330 min.)
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Director: Olivier Assayas
Writer: Olivier Assayas and Dan Franck
Cast: Édgar Ramírez, Alexander Beyer, Anna Thalbach, Susanne Wuest, Christoph Bach, Julia Hummer, Udo Samel, Farid Elouardi, Nora von Waldstätten and Alexander Scheer

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