Revolution is in the Streets

The Sixties from an International Perspective

May 05, 2008
Film screening at the Goethe Institut
Goethe-Institut Washington in cooperation with the German Historical Institute (GHI)

The "Sixties," especially the pivotal year of 1968, were a global phenomenon, witnessing protest movements in places as far apart as Chicago, Berlin, Mexico City, Prague, Paris and Rome. In the public memory of numerous countries, images of generational revolt, countercultural liberation and confrontations with the authorities are closely tied with those years.

This series highlights some of these events through the eyes of contemporary films, and discusses their legacies with former participants and scholars of this turbulent time.

Monday, May 5, 6:30 pm

Viva Maria!
France/Italy, 1965, 119 min., DVD, English, Director: Louis Malle Screenplay: Louis Malle and Jean-Claude Carrière Cast: Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau, George Hamilton

Introduced by Martin Klimke, research fellow, German Historical Institute

Anarchist Maria I is wanted by the police when she mets Maria II, an actress and bar singer. The two women share their experiences – about revolution and about love. A Western comedy that had a significant impact on leading figures of the West German student movement.

Louis Malle’s films Atlantic City and Au revoir, les enfants were each nominated for an Academy Award in the eighties. 

Tuesday, May 13, 6:30 pm

Students in Revolt
BBC, 1968, 51 min., documentary, English

Introduction by and discussion with Martin Klimke, research fellow, German Historical Institute

This documentary shows a BBC panel discussion broadcast after the events of the “French May”. Discussants include Tariq Ali (Great Britain), Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Alan Geismar (France), Jan Kavan (Czechoslovakia), Lewis Cole (United States), and Ekkehart Krippendorff and Karl-Dietrich Wolff (West Germany).

No charge. RSVP to 202.289.1200 ext. 164 or e-mail

Wednesday, May 14, 6 – 8 pm

German Historical Institute

Panel Discussion: “One, Two, Three, Many 1968s? – Lessons and Legacies of the 1960s”


  • Patty Lee Parmalee, social and political activist / author
  • Tom Hayden, social and political activist and politician
  • Norman Birnbaum, professor emeritus, Georgetown University

View the invitation (pdf) for the panel discussion

You can find further details on 1968 and a recent article by Tom Hayden on "The Future of 1968's 'Restless Youth" at

http://www.1968ineurope.comFor information and reservations for this event call the GHI at 202.387.3355 or send an e-mail.

Monday, May 19, 6:30 pm

UK/Italy/USA, 1966, 111 min., DVD, English, Director: Michelangelo Antonioni Screenplay: Michelangelo Antonioni and Julio Cortázar Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, David Hemmings, John Castle

Introduced by Anke Ortlepp, research fellow, German Historical Institute

A fashion photographer tires of working with “pretty dolls” and heads out at night in the hope of finding gripping scenes. His life becomes an adventure when he accidentally takes a gripping photo of a murder.

Michelangelo Antonioni recently passed away in Rome at the age of 94. He achieved international renown and awards with films such as The Red Desert, The Night and Eclipse.

Wednesday, May 21, 6:30 pm

The Battle of Algiers (La Battaglia di Algeri)
Algeria/Italy, 1966, 121 min., 35 mm, English, b/w, Director: Gillo Pontecorvo Screenplay: Gillo Pontecorvo and Franco Solinas Cast: Brahim Hagiag, Jean Martin, Saadi Yacef

Introduced by Philipp Gassert, deputy director, German Historical Institute

This documentary-style film focuses on Algeria’s violent war of independence from French rule at the end of the fifties, a pivotal event in the formation of a European New Left.

Gillo Pontecorvo’s film copies the styles of Italian neorealism, French cinema vérité and Soviet socialist realism. It received three nominations for an Academy Award in 1967 and 1969.