Chicago European Union Film Festival 2018
Closing Night Film! Chicago premiere!

The Young Karl Marx

Der junge Karl Marx

2017, Raoul Peck, Germany/France, 114 min. With August Diehl, Stefan Konarske.


Show Times

  • Sat, Mar 31st 3:00pm
  • Thu, Apr 5th 6:00pm

"Sinewy and intensely focused…It should be dull but it isn't. Somehow the spectacle of angry people talking about ideas becomes absorbing and even gripping." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"Thanks to a game and charismatic cast, the story's characters are as richly drawn as they are poorly financed; Marx is humanized by the humor and vitality with which Diehl plays him, and his wife is never accessorized, but instead regarded as indispensable to this history." — David Ehrlich, Indiewire

From LUMUMBA to I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, Raoul Peck has sought to bring complex political issues to vivid, undiluted life. His latest film, a passion project many years in gestation, takes on one of the most influential figures in modern history and finds the sweet spot between a compelling biopic and a substantial treatment of Marx's thought. The film begins in 1843 with Europe on the brink of political revolution. Marx (Diehl) is an impoverished journalist struggling to support his family while his inflammatory writings keep them on the move, from Prussia to Paris to Brussels to London. His path crosses that of wealthy mill-owner's son Friedrich Engels, and, after a contentious first meeting, they join forces to shape a theoretical foundation for the political ferment that is boiling over in Europe. The film bristles with forceful debates and the memorable personalities involved in them. Marx is seen not as a solitary prophet but a thinker whose ideas evolved in dialogue with those around him, including the dandyish Engels (Konarske), Marx's high-born but politically astute wife Jenny (Vicky Krieps of PHANTOM THREAD), Engels's Irish labor-activist wife Mary Burns, and the radical father-figures Bakunin and Proudhon (the latter played with scene-stealing gusto by Dardenne favorite Olivier Gourmet). In German, French, and English with English subtitles. Courtesy of The Orchard. DCP digital. (MR)

April 5: Immediately following the Closing Night film and program, the audience is invited to a reception in our Gallery/Café generously hosted by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC).

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