The historic events of May 1968 — the student revolt and workers’ strikes — have been captured on film and camera but where are they now? A remarkable website created by the French newspaper Liberation has compiled many of the videos and images, a lot of them never seen before. Go to http://mai68.ina.fr.
I saw this interview by French writer, Marguerite Duras, known for the novel “L’Amante” (The Lover). The interviewee is Romain Goupil, who at the age of 16 is confident, witty and so very grown-up. The video is interspersed with clips showing Goupil and the other student leaders are a “town hall meeting” where other students are agitating for freedom of expression. They are all so serious and they’re smoking.
Click here to see a selection of videos from the entire collection.
May 1968 was a very special time for a lot of people. They believed that they could change things profoundly — end stupid wars like the one in Vietnam and create a society where wealth is shared more equitably among people, where women have equal rights, workers are not exploited, etc. Much of what they fought for came to fruition, such as women’s rights. But in still too many places including countries like France, the US, the Netherlands, the rights won by women, workers and ethnic minorities continue to be under attack. The stupid wars have not stopped. On the contrary, here we are again . . . this time in Iraq. You’d think people would have more sense. Where are the students? I’ve seen a lot of anti-war demonstrations but nothing like 1968.