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Film / The Trotsky

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A 2009 Canadian film starring Jay Baruchel as Leon Bronstein, a high schooler who believes he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky - yes, that Leon Trotsky. After leading a remarkably unsuccessful hunger strike at his wealthy father (played by Saul Rubinek)'s factory, Leon transfers to the local public school and is shocked by the so-called injustices of the administration. He resolves to create a union and leads a ragtag team of students in accomplishing this goal, all while wooing a grad student named Alexandra (Emily Hampshire), whom he believes he is fated to marry.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abomination Accusation Attack: "Are you my Stalin, Dwight?"
  • And the Adventure Continues/Book Ends: One of Leon's initial goals aside from successfully organizing a union is to find somebody named Vladimir Ulianov (a.k.a. Lenin). At the end of the movie, Leon finds Vladimir at a college dorm.
  • Arc Words: "Apathy or Boredom?"
  • Apathetic Students: Leon's biggest challenge is getting the students to come together.
  • Badass Bookworm: Say what you will about Leon, but he knows what he's talking about. Though it may seem like he's parroting what he's read solely for the sake of living up to his historical counterpart, his persuasiveness is evidence enough that he truly believes in everything he says.
  • Butt-Monkey: Everyone hates Dwight. When the students finally get organized to protest the school's administration, one of them is holding a sign that reads: "Down with Dwight".
  • Godwin's Law: Leon's sharp tongue is featured quite heavily in the movie. He questions why the school administration isn't wearing brown shirts at least once.
    • Leon's sister calls their father a Nazi. The irony of them being a Jewish family is definitely not lost on their father.
    • The "Stalin" equivalent is also brought up; when Leon's father derisively refers to him as "Stalin", Leon curtly retorts "I have nothing but contempt for Stalin, as you well know."
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: How Alexandra reacts when people (even jokingly) call Leon her boyfriend. Since Leon believes they are fated to marry, her reaction is somewhat unsurprising. She changes her mind.
  • High-School Dance: The theme is "Social Justice", suggested by Leon. Students dressed as Black Panthers, Maoists, Biblical characters, and characters from Animal Farm are seen.
  • Killer Rabbits: Leon and the students. While at first their demands seem relatively harmless they eventually kidnap and take the principal hostage.
  • La Résistance: What Leon wants to start.
  • Magnetic Hero: Leon's unwavering sincerity and conviction slowly start to win over the initially antagonistic adults in his life, after his peers have already seen what he's capable of.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's never made clear whether or not Leon really is the reincarnation of Trotsky.
  • May–December Romance: Leon's relationship with grad student Alexandra.
  • Prophetic Names: Leon deeply believes in this. He shares the birth name of Trotsky, so he figures he must be the reincarnation of Trotsky. He meets a woman named Alexandra, so he assumes they have to get married (because Trotsky's first wife was named Alexandra). He searches for someone named Vladimir Ulianov to be his "Lenin".
  • Rousing Speech: Many.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Leon's rants.
  • Shiksa Goddess: Leon's mom is not Jewish.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Leon can appear to be this at first, but later on it becomes clear he honestly cares about the cause.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Leon to Alexandra.
  • Take That!: A girl is kicked out of the above Social Justice Dance for dressing as Ayn Rand.
    "This is a fascist-free zone, Dwight."
  • True Companions: The students fighting for the union and eventually the whole school (excluding, perhaps, Dwight).
  • Windmill Crusader: While the principal of the school is a jerk, he's certainly not the evil fascist Leon paints him as. The other students involved in the cause, however, are far more grounded in reality.