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On this week’s episode, Roqayah and Kumars are joined for the entire show by returning guest Shaun Scott, author of Millennials and the Moments That Made Us: A Cultural History of the U.S. from 1982—Present. Shaun talks with Roqayah and Kumars about Raoul Peck’s The Young Karl Marx, the recent biographical picture that tells the story of Marx’s early career, his friendship with Friedrich Engels, his marriage to his wife Jenny, and the development of Marx’s ideas in the lead-up to the publication of his Communist Manifesto. Opinions differ on the quality of the film. Shaun explains his article for City Arts Magazine, “Identity Politics in The Young Karl Marx,” providing background on Marx’s life and arguing that the film’s perspective demonstrates not only the potential but the necessity of integrating intersectional thinking about identity with Marxist class analysis through social reproduction theory.
The crew argues about how the film falls short, including its narrative focus on the development of ideas and its adherence to traditional biopic conventions. Roqayah and Kumars also discuss other recent depictions of communism, the Soviet Union, and Cold War politics in the recent movies Red Sparrow, The Death of Stalin, and The Shape of Water, and everyone concludes by taking stock of the complexities that arise when cinema takes on political issues.
A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.