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The man who cried

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

The year is 1927. Fegele (Claudia Lander-Duke), a little Jewish girl, lives happily with her father (Oleg Yankovsky), a cantor, and her grandmother in a Russian village. But with the ever-present threat of persecution, her father leaves for the USA to find work and then send for his family. Soon after he leaves, violence engulfs the village. Fegele is bundled off with some fleeing villagers who hope to get to the USA, but she ends up on a boat to England.

Fegele is re-named Suzie (Christina Ricci), sent to a Christian foster home and to a school where she is forbidden to speak Yiddish but learns to sing. Ten years later she leaves England for Paris, where she becomes a chorus girl and befriends an ambitious blonde Russian dancer, Lola (Cate Blanchett). She starts to save, hoping to earn enough money to pay for her passage to the USA. Together Lola and Suzie find jobs in the new opera company of impresario Felix Perlman (Harry Dean Stanton); their lives become inextricably entwined with the fate of Dante (John Turturro), an arrogant Italian opera singer, and César (Johnny Depp), a Gypsy horse handler, as the Nazis move in on Paris and Suzie's quest to find her father becomes also a quest to embrace her own identity.

Directed by Sally Potter.

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report


If you're looking for a slow-moving drama with lots of mysterious characters with unknown motivations then The man who cried is a good film for you. The Propaganda tells you pretty much everything that you will see and hear and feel, as long as you're an art-movie aficionado. If you don't like that sort of film, you'll hate The man who cried.

The problem is that what this film should have been is Moulin Rouge, but that's too far in this film's future.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio and languages: English (5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Dutch
  • Screen: Widescreen (1.85:1/16:9 enhanced)
  • Disc: Single sided, single layer

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level sex scenes, adult themes)

Surveillance time

97 minutes (1:37 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 3 May 2001 - Melbourne, Sydney
Film: Undated July 2001 - National
DVD rental: 2 January 2002
VHS rental: 2 January 2002

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