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How to Change the World: Raoul Peck's The Young Karl Marx

Olivia Snaije By Olivia Snaije Published on October 1, 2017

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For those getting ready to plunge into Karl Marx's Das Kapital, probably essential reading for today, there is now an excellent preface: the brilliant filmmaker, Raoul Peck, who last year gave us I am Not Your Negro, this time brings us The Young Karl Marx , a biopic which shows Marx in his 20s, and his friendship with Friedrich Engels, as they work on giving the labor movement a new vision of the world. 

It was an intelligent decision to concentrate on just a portion of Marx's history; the social and political upheavals of the day were complicated enough, not to mention trying to explain the birth of communism and giving a rounded view of Marx's daily life in which he is also trying to support his young family. In German, French and English, the passionate, fascinating, and sometimes humorous or violent dialogue around philosophy, politics and economics, frame the young Marx (and Engels) in the lead-up to writing The Communist Manifesto. Even if you're not planning on reading Das Kapital, this is an exciting story about friendship, ideas and a will to change the world.


Olivia is a Paris-based journalist and editor.

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