The Politics of the French New Wave

1960s: Days of Rage

Paris Riots 68

“The world in the 1960s was a world on fire with change and revolution. It does seems strange, then, that when discussing the French New Wave the point of politics often receives only the lightest brushstrokes. Many are familiar with the Left Bank Group and their political leanings towards socialism and the radicalism of the left. Most fans of the Nouvelle Vague are aware of Godard’s radicalisation later in his career. But what about Truffaut, Chabrol, or Godard before 1968? Were they really, as is sometimes murmured in academic circles, right-wing radicals and fascist sympathisers? How could they be fascists, when their films were so humane? What happened to Godard in the late 1960s? And if the Cahiers directors were so preoccupied with truthfully representing life, how could they do this without having some consciousness about the political world around them? … In film, this…

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