×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Born in ’68

Revelers celebrating the 40th anni of France's famous May uprising will find little to holler about in "Born in '68."

With:
With: Laetitia Casta, Yannick Renier, Yann Tregouet, Christine Citti, Marc Citti, Sabrina Seyvecou, Theo Frilet, Edouard Collin, Kate Moran, Slimane Yefsah.

Revelers celebrating the 40th anni of France’s famous May uprising will find little to holler about in “Born in ’68,” a generational melodrama where syrupy nostalgia and other cliches headline a manifesto that’s much less political than emotionally provocative. Initially conceived as a two-part TV movie by filmmakers Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau (“Jeanne and the Perfect Guy”), and slightly trimmed for theatrical, pic boasts a strong cast that sheds plenty of tears but not much else in a fairly standard, uninventive treatment of the iconoclastic epoch. Midsized May release has few prospects beyond Gaul.

Narrative’s first half spans 1968-81, beginning with the legendary springtime protests and culminating in the election of Socialist prez Francois Mitterrand. In between, the pic introduces the (literal) threesome of Catherine (Laetitia Casta), Yves (Yannick Renier) and Herve (Yann Tregouet), who spend the turbulent months making lots of love and few anti-government stances.

Disillusioned by the failures of a movement they seem only marginally involved in, they join some hippie outcasts to form a commune in France’s pastoral Lot region down south. When Catherine eventually opts for the more stable and less idealistic Yves, Herve takes off into the wilderness, only to return several years later on the run for murder.

Second half, which terminates with Sarkozy’s 2007 rise to power, focuses on Catherine and Yves’ children, Boris (Theo Frilet) and Ludmilla (Sabrina Seyvecou). They predictably reject the free-love, flower-wielding ideals of their now-separated parents.

Filmmakers seem more comfortable with the ’80s material, especially Boris’ political involvement in the AIDS awareness movement and Ludmilla’s rocky marriage to an Iranian traditionalist (Slimane Yefsah). Some early sequences of flower painting, guitar strumming and idealized group sex are corny enough to make the cold, contemporary world of plasma screens and cell phones in film’s closing scenes seem a preferable utopia.

Pic’s vast historical fresco is quickly dispatched via several television sets, which always seem to be featuring major world events (fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11, etc.) whenever they’re turned on in the background.

Male leads Renier (“Private Property”), Tregouet and Frilet are relatively convincing, but ex-supermodel Casta seems ill-cast as the hippie love goddess. Bright digital lensing restricts action to closeups and two-shots, and apart from some tear-jerking moments, the soundtrack is composed of the usual ’60s-’80s trendsetters.

Born in '68

France

Production: A Pyramide Distribution release of a Les Films Pelleas, Arte France production, with participation of France 2, CNC. (International sales: Pyramide Intl., Paris.) Produced by Philippe Martin, Lola Gans. Directed, written by Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau.

Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Matthieu Poirot-Delpech; editor, Dominique Gallieni; music, Philippe Miller; production designer, Denis Moutereau; costume designer, Catherine Rigault; sound (Dolby Digital/DTS Digital), Regis Miller, Julien Bourdeau, Olivier Do Huu; assistant director, Sebastien Matuchet; casting, Antoine Carrard. Reviewed at UGC Normandie 2, Paris, May 21, 2008. Running time: 169 MIN.

With: With: Laetitia Casta, Yannick Renier, Yann Tregouet, Christine Citti, Marc Citti, Sabrina Seyvecou, Theo Frilet, Edouard Collin, Kate Moran, Slimane Yefsah.

More Film

  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu

    China Box Office: Weekend Chart Dominated By Non-Chinese Films

    Unusually, all of the top five films at the China box office this weekend were non-Chinese. That’s a relatively rare occurrence, as audiences typically favor local films over foreign content. But it is one that may happen more often, as high-performing local titles become fewer and farther between due to production slowdowns. The lack of [...]

  • White Lie

    Playtime Boards Canadian Psychological Thriller 'White Lie' Starring Kacey Rohl (EXCLUSIVE)

    One of France’s leading sales companies, Playtime has boarded “White Lie,” a character-driven psychological thriller film from the promising new Toronto-based directors Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas. Now in post-production, “White Lie” is headlined by Kacey Rohl, who has been seen in hit TV series such as “The Killing,” “Arrow,” “Hannibal” and “Wayward Pines.” Rohl [...]

  • Cannes’ Focus CoPro’ Gives Push for

    Cannes’ Focus CoPro’ Gives Push for First-Time Features

    CANNES–Seven first-feature projects will be pitched to an audience of industry professionals at Focus CoPro’, an event hosted by Cannes’ Short Film Corner that will take place Tuesday May 21 at the Palais des Festivals. The pitching session, which is run in collaboration with Nisi Masa and the Pop Up Film Residency, was introduced last year [...]

  • Cannes: Star Alliance Movies Takes Wide’s

    Cannes: Star Alliance Movies Takes Wide’s ‘Blast’ for China (EXCLUSIVE)

    CANNES  —  Hong Kong’s Star Alliance Movies has pounced on all rights to China on “Blast,” a race against the clock thriller that marks the first full production from Wide, Loic Magneron’s Paris-based sales-production-distribution company. The deal, made against a background of slowing sales to China, represents the first pre-sale on “Blast,” which is now [...]

  • Brazil’s Cinemascopio, France’s Les Valseurs Team

    Brazil’s Cinemascopio, France’s Les Valseurs Team For Nara Normande, Tião’s ‘The Heron’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    CANNES — Recife-based CinemaScópio Produções and Paris’ Les Valseurs have teamed on “A Garça” (The Heron), the feature debut from Brazil’s Nara Normande, co-authored by Tião. Brazilian CinemaScópio is behind Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ Brazilian Western-thriller “Bacurau,” in competition at Cannes. Les Valseurs is also presenting Qiu Yang’s short “She Runs” at Critics’ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content