Carlos the Jackal

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

I recently watched Carlos, about Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the left-wing terrorist most infamous for storming OPEC headquarters in Vienna in 1975.

Some thoughts:

  • Every time anyone handles a gun in this movie, they casually muzzle-sweep their friends, with their finger on the trigger. This actually strikes me as authentic.
  • The movie has a lot of gratuitous nudity — some of it female.
  • Being an effective terrorist is largely a matter of willingness to do terrible things, not competence at doing those terrible things.
  • Angry youths are useful idiots. West Germany seems to have been especially useful to the Soviets.
  • Palestinian “liberation” is a Marxist movement in the 1970s.
  • The terrorists of the 1970s seem like wannabe rock-stars.
  • The real-life Sanchez is alive and living in a French prison. He objected to the OPEC scenes, which depicted his men as hysterically waving submachine-guns around.

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