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Carlos Trying to Block the Release of Carlos the Jackal?

I’d be surprised if Carlos, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez has developed a taste for art-house cinema, say Irma Vep or Demonlover. I’m guessing that the reason why he would like to see Olivier Assayas’ Carlos the Jackal before it receives it release is because it is a film based on his own life….and well, he probably doesn’t have that much to do behind bars.

I’d be surprised if Carlos, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez has developed a taste for art-house cinema, say Irma Vep or Demonlover. I’m guessing that the reason why he would like to see Olivier Assayas’ Carlos the Jackal before it receives it release is because it is a film based on his own life….and well, he probably doesn’t have that much to do behind bars. The former terrorist made an appeal through his lawyer/wife to see the final cut for one of my most anticipated films/film series of the year. But does this mean that the mini-series which is being now rumored as a possible fit for a special showing at Cannes (perhaps a three film X 90 mins. format) is in jeopardy of getting a court order and being blocked from diffusion? Not exactly.

The papers claim that a decision will be made on April 8th as to if Carlos can simply view the film on his life so he can make his “own observations.” His lawyer claims that the request is not to censor the film or to ban the film, but to make sure that it isn’t a work of fiction. Basically the convicted terrorist is claiming that he might have reason to believe that the film might be cause for slander – a laughable claim when you consider he isn’t in prison for armed robbery or tax fraud.

Carlos might be hoping that the the film refers to terrorist acts he was once accused of (the games in Munich and another claim that he hijacked a plane), but the synopsis I have makes no mention of this. Co-written by Assayas and Dan Franck, Carlos the Jackal traces the life of Carlos from 1973-1994. Full of violence and secret-service manipulation, the story includes the 1974 bomb attack on the Publicis Drugstore in Paris, the 1975 hostage-taking of 11 OPEC ministers in Vienna and several planned assassinations. All this unfolds against a geopolitical backdrop encompassing the PLO, Japanese Red Army, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, the USSR, East German Stasi, Hungary, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and, finally, Sudan where Carlos was arrested.

Assayas’ film series was supposed to have already aired in France, but I’m guessing the vastness of the project and being a new parent alongside Mia Hansen-Løve makes for long, very busy days.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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