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Le Fond de l’air est rouge

Grin Without a Cat

This is Marker’s epic film essay on the world-wide political upheavals of the ’60s and ’70soVietnam, Bolivia, May 68, Prague, Chileoand the fate of the New Left. Using rarely seen and often remarkable documentary footage, Marker explores the factors found in most revolutions: initial high ideals, the carnage of battles for power, and eventual compromises. First released in 1978, then updated for re-release in 1993 after the fall of the Soviet Union, Le Fond de l’air est rouge is a sweeping contemplation of a defining ten years of political history. As the critic Phil Hall has written: ‘Under Marker’s masterful guidance, history is written with a blowtorch: in this production the most remarkable collection of news footage, interviews and biting commentary are assembled for a monumental political elegy to a not-so-distant era when the status quo was pummelled by a new wave of youth who rose across the globe with the grand hope of remaking the world. Marker presents the late 1960s and early 1970s for what they really were: a lava field boiling and scalding with hatred, violence, confusion, foolishness, and the ultimate tragedy that something worthwhile was brutally stomped down by all parties swirling in the geopolitical maelstrom.’

France, 1977/1993. English subtitles. Colour. Beta-SP video. 180 mins.

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