Children of the Revolution (1996 film)

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Children of the Revolution
Directed byPeter Duncan
Written byPeter Duncan
Produced byTristram Miall
CinematographyMartin McGrath
Edited bySimon Martin
Music byNigel Westlake
Distributed byMiramax Films
Release date
  • 26 December 1996 (1996-12-26)
Running time
99 minutes
Box officeA$838,368[1]

Children of the Revolution is a 1996 Australian black comedy film, depicting Joseph Stalin and his son's somewhat deterministic path into The Revolution in modern-day Australia. It stars Richard Roxburgh Judy Davis, Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neill, and F. Murray Abraham as Joseph Stalin.


Joan is a young Australian communist who goes to the Soviet Union as part of a work study program in the 1950s. There she catches the eye of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and the two sleep together just before Stalin dies. Returning to Australia, Joan discovers she is pregnant and gives birth to Stalin's love child, whom she names Joe. Her son (who does not know who his father is) has a troubled upbringing, rebelling against both his mother's left wing politics and Australian society in general. He spends time in jail where he learns about Stalin's crimes from a fellow inmate. Upon release, he marries Anna, a police officer who had arrested him. She is the child of Latvian refugees who fled to Australia to escape Stalin's Great Purge. Pledging to go on the straight and narrow, Joe rises to become the head of Australia's police union and seizes more and more political power. Anna learns of Joe's true parentage, but keeps this secret from Joe out of love and a conviction that she cannot truly know for certain. The secret eats at their relationship and Joe resents the secrecy when it is revealed.



The film was inspired in part by Peter Duncan's grandfather, who was a long-standing member of the Communist Party. He wrote the script to help him get into the Australian Film Television and Radio School and showed it to Tristram Miall after he graduated; the producer loved it and decided to turn it into a film.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

The film holds a rating of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10.[3] The website Metacritic gave the film a score of 76/100.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Children of the Revolution". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ "Interview with Peter Duncan". Signet. 18 December 1996. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Children of the Revolution". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Children of the Revolution". Metacritic. Retrieved 9 April 2015.

External links[edit]