N and I watch a lot of TV series together but never any movies. So we decided to do something unusual and watch one.
An Inspector Calls is based on a play by JB Priestley, and Soviet people loved their Priestley. The play had actually premiered in the USSR several months before it did in London.
The movie (as well as the play) is set in 1912, and it’s the perfect portrayal of the relationship between the recently emerged institutions of the nation-state and industrial capitalism.
What’s really fun about the movie is imagining the modern-day version. The inspector is gone, and as the vicious capitalists abuse the working-class girl they lecture her about her racism, white supremacy, and transphobia. The viewers are tricked into identifying completely with the capitalists and cheering on the working-class girl’s suicide. The capitalists aren’t afraid of the press finding out. To the contrary, they make the story of their victimization by the indigent, desperate worker as public as possible, monetizing the likes and the retweets. Everybody celebrates the worker’s death which “like literally prevented a genocide.”
We enjoyed the movie but we are now desperate to re-watch the Soviet version where actors actually acted instead of just standing around. It’s so sad that the actors here are so impotent that the poor director had to cast as the evil capitalist a really ugly actor with a huge paunch and a gigantic nose. There’s simply no way to transmit the evilness of the character other than through appearance if an actor can’t do any acting.