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Mister Freedom

France 1969
produced by
Guy Belford, Christian Thivat, Michel Zemer for Films du Rond-Point, O.P.E.R.A.
directed by William Klein
starring Delphine Seyrig, John Abbey, Donald Pleasence, Jean-Claude Drouot, Serge Gainsbourgh, Yves Lefebvre, Rufus, Sabine Sun, Rita Maiden, Colin Drake, Pierre Baillot, Raoul Billerey, Philippe Noiret, Sami Frey, Catherine Rouvel, Monique Chaumette, Yves Montand, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Odile Astie, Albert Augier, Jean-Luc Bideau, Jean-Claude Bouillaud, Michel Creton, Guy D'Avout, Albert Dray, Marcel Gassouk, Michèle Loubet, Henry Pillsbury, Hugues Quester, Eric Wasberg, Simone Signoret
written by William Klein, music by Michel Colombier

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Mister Freedom (John Abbey), the all American superhero in a red, white and blue football uniform, is called to Freedom headquarters, where his boss Doctor Freedom (Donald Pleasence) informs him about the (alleged) spread of Communism in France, and since the French superhero Captain Formidable (Yves Montand in a mini-role) has just been killed by baddie Red Chinaman, it falls upon Mister Freedom to preserve the Freedom in France - or at least what the Americans understand as freedom, since Mister Freedom is a racist, misogynist and egomaniac bastard who tries to bluntly force his ideas of freedom on the French, and when somebody opposes him - even if its Jesus (Sami Frey) -, he lets his fists or his guns do the talking.

Soon enough all of France is in an uproar against the Freedom Movement, so eventually, Mister Freedom sees himself forced (?) to bomb 50 present of the country to Kingdom Come, just to teach these Frenchies a lesson and make them see how important his vision of freedom is ... as a result, everyone turns against him, even his French liasion officer and girlfriend Marie-Madeleine (Delphine Seyrig), and the whole thing ends with his headquarters being destroyed and his army slaughtered, and as retaliation, Mister Freedom has the country nuked ...

 

As a satire on American Imperialism, this film is just a tad too blunt and too self-assured while not being all that good in delivering its subtler tones and comic moments - but that said, many of the film's ideas like the US-embassy being just a supermarket are nothing short of great (even if even this idea gets a bit overstrained in the course of events).

What makes the film remarkable though is that while it was conceived as a Cold-War-satire, it hasn#t lost any of its relevance nowadays, when the USA under George W.Bush has started an unprovoked war against Iraq and now wonders why it's so hard for the Iraqis to just respect their ideas of freedom ... To a great extent, the film looks like an exact satire on the Iraq war, only done 24 years earlier. Maybe someone should have showed the Bush administration the film before they made their big mistake ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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from the post-apocalyptic
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD