One of Jean-Luc Godard's most underrated and misunderstood films, this 1967 feature isn't so much an embrace of France's Maoist youth movement as a multifaceted interrogation of it—far more nuanced and lively than the theoretical agitprop Godard would make with others after the May 1968 uprisings. Though it explores the dogmatism and violence of a Maoist cell in Paris, Godard is equally preocccupied by such things as French rock, the color red, the history of cinema, the “revisionism” of the French Communist Party, and the rebels' youthful romantic longings. The spirited cast--including Anne Wiazemsky, Jean-Pierre Léaud, and Juliet Berto--make all this touching as well as troubling. The movie helped inspire student revolt at Columbia University soon afterward, but that's a tribute to its style and energy, not its political intelligence. In French with subtitles. 96 min.
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