It’s easy, really easy, startlingly easy, to connect dots between movies opening in the second half of this presidency to this presidency, even when the dots don’t actually friggin’ exist. The more criticism you read, the more you’ll see this exercise carried out by critics struggling to make a think piece or fill out a review. I’m not necessarily sure I disagree with the impulse; it is, after all, impulsive, and given that this president’s main talent is keeping his name in headlines no matter how scandalous, horrifying, or unflattering, it’s also totally expected.
This applies to Radu Jude’s I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians, too, though I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians wants its audience to connect those dots, and not just American audiences, either. The phenomenon we see at play in the United States is a phenomenon currently at play in countries all over the world. Nationalism isn’t an American problem. It’s a global problem. It isn’t a new problem, either, both in the sense that this particular disease has existed since forever, and in the sense that the roots of today’s burst of nationalist politicking go way back in modern history.
Jude gets it. His movie gets it. It’s no wonder that this is, in my mind, a powerhouse movie. If you have the chance to see it, you should.
You can read my full review slash editorial over at The Week.