Jennifer L. Jenkins
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Conseil de famille (1986) and La petite apocalypse (1993)
Comic melodrama
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While he frequently locates political suspense narratives in family life, Costa-Gavras’s Conseil de Famille (1986) and La Petite Apocalypse (1993) show the comic side of the maxim that all politics are local and familial. The housebreaking duo in Conseil de Famille are blackmailed by the kids into adding them into the family business, while the haut-bourgeois couple in La Petite Apocalypse are burdened with a Marxist ex-spouse houseguest who won’t leave them and their pretensions alone. Few critics could conceive of Costa-Gavras as a humourist, and fewer still were able to see the comic potential of domestic stories about failed ideals.

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