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Transcript of May 1968
Protests in France causes social economic Baby Boomers move to cities, their children overcrowd schools
urbanization, less rural
new youth culture
March 1968: students at Nanterre University, Paris demand the right for co-ed dorms increase in population (due to Baby Boomers)
increase in industrial production
women are increasing part of the work force, especially to meet the demands of the auto industry
disagreements in pay/salary between men/women political Students
believed DeGaulle's government was dull, outdated, conservative values
had a broader, more political agenda
wanted: wage increases, ousting of DeGaulle The Legacy of May 1968 Charles de Gaulle Flees! Slogans - All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely - On achète ton bonheur. Vole-le.
- Those who lack imagination cannot imagine what is lacking.
- Under 21? Here is your ballot! Good Vibes - France remains torn on the events of 1968
- According to one recent survey, about 3/4 of the French population view the protests positively.
- Viewed as ushering in a new era of liberalism and freedom (women's rights, education reform, etc)
- Part of France's "spirit of revolution," starting from 1789.
- Seen as a positive influence in a worldwide "year of revolution" (Prague Spring, Civil Rights Movement, etc). Not So Good Vibes? - Some left-leaning critics argue that May 1968 was a gateway to the skeezy 80s (and no one liked the 80s).
- Far right is still deeply hostile to the legacy of '68.
- In 2007 presidential election, Nicolas Sarkozy said that the "heritage of May 1968...must be defeated once and for all."
- Political conservatives often blame failing education, rampant capitalism, etc, on the MORAL DECADENCE of 1968.
- Daniel Cohn-Bendit, one of the student leaders, published a book called "Forget '68," saying that France needs to move on. The Events.... Cinematic Legacy May 29:
-Moved private gov. documents
-Expresses that he "is the past"
-France is unaware of his whereabouts for 6 hours
-Originally went out of discouragement
Impact: 'reminded' French citizens of what they might lose: national government shut down
-persuaded to dissolve National Assembly
-de Gaulle broadcast his own refusal to resign.
-announced an election, scheduled for 23 June
-ordered workers to return to work
- threatened 'state of emergency' if they did not comply - One of the causes of May '68 was a dispute about cinema.
- 3 months earlier, Henri Langlois was sacked as the director of the Cinémathèque Française.
- Langlois credited with inspiring directors like Truffaut and Goddard, as well as saving works (like Gance's "Napoleon" from oblivion and keeping French cinema alive during Nazi occupation.
- Current spirit of cinema influenced by May 1968: acceptance of alternative media, "democratization of expression," new forms of art and culture
- "Artsier" movies more accepted, more recognized (The Graduate vs. Doctor Doolittle, etc). Background... -Born in Lille, 1890
-Joined military: graduated 13th in his class
-was in both world wars
-founded the Free French Forces
-Prime Minister from 44-46
-helped found Fifth Republic
-Resigned 1969 Strikes & Protests Students Strike -Began at the University of Paris Nanterre with conflict between administration and students
-University is shut down May 2, 1968
-On May 3, students gather at the Sorbonne to protest the closure and expulsion of Nanterre students
-Insitut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques and Ecole Nationale de Photographie et de Cinématographie are closed Workers Join - Started at Sud Aviation plant near Nantes
- Not a Union run strike, though labor unions later supported the strikers but with reluctance
-Estates General passes motion calling for a strike by all film workers and the shutting down of the Cannes film festival
- 10 million strikers by late May (more than half the French work force) End of a Revolution Lost Momentum Revolutionary Sprit fades away the following months
Student Union called off Street Demonstrations
Government bans a number of leftist organizations
June 16th - Police Retake Sorbonne Election of June 23 1968 Communist: 34 Seats
Total Right: 353
Clear victory for de Gaulle's party
Left divided - Socialists feared Communist takeover Resurgence Bastille Day - Street Demonstrations in the Latin Quarter
Mix of protest
Leftist Students - Red arm bands
Anarchist students - Black arm bands
Ultimately failed, and the revolution was dead