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A Grin Without a Cat: Scenes From the Third World War 1967-1977
(Le Fond de l'Air Est Rouge)

Directed by Chris Marker.
France, 1977/88, video, color and b&w, 180 min.
French with English subtitles.

After a number of years working anonymously with a filmmaking collective dedicated to activist production, Marker reemerged to make films under his own name again. Here he surveys the rise and fall of the worldwide revolutionary movement of the 1960s and 70s, encompassing France in May of 1968, U.S. anti–Vietnam War riots, the Czech uprising and its encounter with the Soviet military, and much more—all through a montage of anonymous footage by others that had never entered the public view. There is even an intriguing analysis of the Odessa steps sequence from Eisenstein’s Potemkin, which leads us to consider the mythology of image-making and the role it has played in history. The version we screen is a revision of the 1977 film, which originally ran to four hours.

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