Dir. Olivier Assayas
(2010, Not Rated, 330 min)
★ ★ ★

If international terrorism is as tedious as Carlos makes it appear, it’s a wonder anyone ever signs up. Director Olivier Assayas’s epic miniseries, which aired in the United States on the IFC network, tracks anti-imperialist radical Carlos the Jackal, whose real name is Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, from the start of his infamous career to the end, and along the way I struggled through a convoluted soup of allegiances, counter-allegiances, compromises, negotiations, and betrayals. At different points, Carlos is working for the Iraqis, then alongside the Iraqis, then hiding in Syria from the Iraqis. A crucial operation fails because of an offense to Libya, but later Libya enlists him to carry out another. He is in league with the East German Stasi and the Soviets, and he’s harbored in Hungary, until at least one or two of those groups turn their backs on him. If I got any of the details wrong … well, I probably got some of the details wrong, and I haven’t even mentioned the French, the Saudis, or the Algerians … Read the rest of my review at Culturazzi.org.

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