Something In The Air
BY Willard Manus
the French director of 2010's unforgettablemini-series, Carlos, has returned
to form with SOMETHING IN THEAIR, a docudrama about the counter-cultural
wars of the 1970s. The film recreates that period with verve and power,
capturing thecomplex battles that were being fought between right and
left, youth and middleage, police and students, Maoists and anarchists.
Drugs, music, alcohol and sex were very much a part of theferment, as
were experimentation, rebellion and feminism. Political as most of the
participants were, there were also hippies and flower-children in their
midst, utopian souls whoturned their back on struggle and hitchiked to
India and Nepalinstead, in search of gurus, enlightenment and cheap hashish.
SOMETHING IN THE AIR opens in 1971 with a demonstration at aParisian high
school on behalf of imprisoned leftist leaders. Withmilitary planning
and precision, the youthful leaders of theuprising, Gilles (Clement Metayer),
Alain (Felix Armand),Laure (Carole Combes) and Christine (Lola Creton),
sneak into theschool at night to spray graffiti and scatter handbills.
Assayashighlights the action (which soon turns violent) with his fluidand
distinctive camera work.