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1968 and Global Cinema

The year 1968 was a watershed that brought about radical political and social changes internationally. These changes are both reflected in and constitutive of radical new cinemas that emerged around that time, in part as a response to anticolonial wars of self-liberation and self-determination that were waged throughout Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America during the 1950s and 1960s. The films reflect the vibrant anti-imperialist discourse that formed a key node of the social movements of the 1960s, exemplified by the responses to the US–Vietnam War.

This small series celebrates the publication of the book 1968 and Global Cinema by featuring films from around the globe, many in new restorations. BAMPFA presents a selection of Ciné-tracts by Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, and other French directors; Dariush Mehrjui’s The Cow, marking the Iranian New Wave; Mauritanian filmmaker Med Hondo’s semiautobiographical Soleil Ô; Shinsuke Ogawa’s raw and vital The Battle Front for the Liberation of Japan—Summer in Sanrizuka; Nelson Pereira dos Santos’s Brazilian Cinema Novo classic How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman; Dusan Makavejev’s Yugoslavian provocation WR: Mysteries of the Organism; Larry Clark’s As Above, So Below, part of the L.A. Rebellion; and short radical films from the US and Cuba. 1968 and Global Cinema—the book and the film series—takes the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of May 1968 to examine lesser-known film cultures engaged in that moment’s politics and to provide new readings of key films from what has been called the “long 1960s.” Christina Gerhardt, Guest Curator

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