Commemorating May 1968, a time of great social unrest and change in France, is a complicated matter. To address this multifaceted topic, the French turn to their seventh art: cinema.
For the 50th anniversary, films about May ’68 will be screened in April, May, and June. Here’s a comprehensive list of events about May ’68 in New York City, updated as more information is released.
In the Intense Now (No Intenso Agora): Wednesday, April 25 at 6:30pm
João Moreira Salles’s documentary essay tells the story of the events of May in France with images, footage, and voice-over narration with a quite personal viewpoint. Most unique, Salles uses color images, a rare thing for May ’68, from his own archives. RSVP here.
1968 in 2018: Geographies and Temporalities of Mai 68: Friday, April 27 at 1:00pm
This lecture and panel discussion will address traditional narratives around May 1968 and its effects around the world, as well as its less often discussed effects. The panelists (Imen Amiri, Ludivine Bantigny, Françoise Blum, Julian Bourg, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Frédéric Gros, Kristin Ross, and Emmanuelle Saada) will question how different protests during May 1968 were interconnected and affected subsequent political and social conflicts. RSVP here.
May Made Me: An Oral History of the 1968 Uprising in France: Friday, April 27 at 7:30pm
Part of the Frozen Revolutions series, UnionDocs will be screening two items: The Return to Work at the Wonder Factory, a 10-minute short about a woman who continues to rebel even after the strikes have been called off, and Cinétracts, a 90-minute series of 41 documentary shorts, several by famous directors, presenting a leftist viewpoint of the real-life events. Writer Mitchell Abidor will be providing commentary in realtime on the films. The short is in French with no subtitles, and the series of shorts is in French with English subtitles. Buy tickets in advance here.
Mai 68 in Theory: Tuesday, May 1 at 7:15pm
In this very philosophical presentation, Patrice Maniglier, a lecturer in the philosophy department at Université Paris Nanterre, will explain that what we think about when we think about May 1968 is oversimplified and not actually correct. This event is free and open to the public.
May Made Me: Thursday, May 3 at 7:00pm
Mitch Abidor, a translator, and Todd Gitlin, a writer, will analyze the oral testimonies Abidor collected for his new book, May Made Me. They’ll discuss the events’ legacy, and how May ’68 changed people on both an individual and collective level. Talk will be given in English, and is free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary.
Interdit d’interdire: How May 68 Changed Both Sides of the Atlantic: Tuesday, May 8 at 6:30pm
The French Consulate in New York devotes its next conference to the 1960s on both sides of the Atlantic, marked by riots in France and the mobilization of American youth against the Vietnam War and the struggle for civil rights. Three guests will share their thoughts on this period: Bernard Harcourt, Columbia professor of political science and law and founder of the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought; Jan Barry, co-founder of Vietnam Veterans Against the War movement; and Christelle Dormoy, co-author of May 68 par celles et ceux qui l’ont vécu. Free. RSVP: [email protected].
These four films are a part of FIAF’s Cinésalon, Remembering Mai 1968 series. All films are screened in French with English subtitles. Every screening will be introduced by a high-profile arts personality and include a post-screening reception with complimentary beer and wine.
Les Années 68 (U.S. Premiere): Tuesday, May 8 at 4pm (Pt. 1 (La vague)) and 7:30pm (Pt. 2 (L’explosion))
A documentary by veteran filmmaker Don Kent, Les Années 68 depicts and contextualizes the events before, during, and after May ’68, along with the global legacy. A panel discussion will follow the screening. (Pt. 2 can be seen without Pt. 1.)
Tous au Larzac: Tuesday, May 15 at 4pm and 7:30pm
A documentary about Larzac’s transformation from an agricultural plateau to a hub for protest movements.
Feminist Documentaries: Tuesday, May 22 at 4pm and 7:30pm
Each screening will show two short, rarely show documentaries by Carole Roussopoulos about feminism in the aftermath of May ’68.
Mourir à trente ans: Tuesday, May 29 at 4pm and 7:30pm
Director Romain Goupil weaves the tale of his friendship with fellow May ’68 student activist, Michel Recanati, who tragically committed suicide in 1978, in this revealing documentary. The 7:30pm screening will be followed by Q&A with the director.
1968 on Screen: Thursday, May 24 to June 4
Working with fellow New York cinema, Metrograph, who will show yet-to-be-announced films about May ’68 in France, Anthology Films will be showing films about the after effects of May ’68 around the world, from Vietnam to Germany to Columbia University. Sixteen different screenings, the majority of which will be shown twice, of documentaries, shorts, and newsreels will portray the worldwide influence of this brief moment in history.