Charlie Marx and the Chocolate Factory
Video, 27 mn 17, 2009

Charlie Marx and the Chocolate Factory started as an investigation of the link between politics and chocolate, at the Karl Marx Confectionary Factory in Kiev, Ukraine. The factory was founded in 1886, named after Karl Marx in 1923, and has kept its name ever since, despite changes in political regime and ownership. After its privatization in the early 1990's, the factory has modernized its production. It nevertheless continues to produce Soviet items, like the Kievsky cake, a creation of the Karl Marx Confectionary Factory in the 1950's, which has become the symbol of the city of Kiev. Today, the factory's produce is widely distributed throughout Ukraine, Russia and Central Asia.

Since access to the factory was denied, the project had to be re-considered, re-invented or re-enacted. This considerably changed its nature and stripped it off its documentary ambition. Mostly made of archival footage and re-enacted performances based on the company's website, Charlie Marx and the Chocolate Factory merges what was left of the initial idea with what has been collected and realized instead. It borrows from the genres of video art, 'Man on the street' interview, direct address, corporate film, essay, and music video, without legitimately belonging to any of them.

Charlie Marx and the Chocolate Factory unravels as a reflection on its own failure, and yet keeps on investigating what has always been at stake: the shift from public to private property (and from analog to digital technology), dialectics of permanence and change, language as a mirror of ideology, and post-Soviet oligarchy culture. 

Recommended for Marxists with a sweet tooth ! 

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