City Paper is not for tourists
In May of 1968, France experienced a monumental student-led general strike—an anarchic, graffiti-laden spring that remains an enduring point of reference for artists and critics of consumer culture. The National Gallery of Art commemorates the 40th anniversary of the uprising with “Retour à May 1968,” a series of four films, each with a differing approach to discussing the upheaval of that chaotic spring. Jean-Luc Godard’s Tout Va Bien paints a picture of a world rendered less easily understood in the wake of the promises of unity and progressive change that May ’68 offered. Set four years later, an expat reporter (Jane Fonda) and her one-time activist filmmaker husband end up in the middle of a tragicomic worker-led shutdown at a sausage factory; the supporting cast addresses the camera and hashes out the distinctions between class-based ideologies. With an eye toward creating a new, more thoughtful kind of political cinema, Godard creates a complex film to take on the era’s complexities. The series runs to Saturday, May 24, at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building auditorium, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215.