Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

Children of the failed (1968) revolution and their children

Nes_enBorn in ’68

(Nés en 68)

Directed by Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau

Written by Catherine Corsini, Olivier Ducastel, Guillaume Le Touze, and Jacques Martineau

Released May 21, 2008
Drama (foreign)
173 min.


Review by Stephen O. Murray

January 10, 2017.

The 2008 Born in ’68 (Nés en 68) from life partners Edouard Collin and Jacques Martineau began as a T movie/miniseries. Spliced together, I almost quit watching before the midway point, when suddenly there is a gay male couple in the next generation.

The whole movie centers on Catherine, who remained in the country, Catherine’s son Boris [Théo Frilet] is the promiscuous one, the darker-skinned Christope [Edouard Collin, who also appeared in D&M’s Côte d’Azur], son of neighbors born there, the frustrated would-be nester. I’m not sure that Boris’s sexual opportunism comes from his mother’s free love ethic. Christophe is more conventional, as his parents are.

EnLosFIThe boys (19 and 17 when they first couple) have a minute or two of bliss onscreen. This is followed by a fag bashing and then by the news that both are HIV+. Sigh!

On to Parisian ACT-Up demonstrations (in the familiar pink triangle on black background T-shirts, and a demand that a president (François Mitterand rather than Ronald Reagan) speak the name (SIDA) and do something to save PWAs. The boys live to the era of civil unions.

The straight offspring of “the children of the (failed 1968) revolution” also have relationship problems, and two of the original set plus one gay son die before the end of the movie.

I am less interested in those in the movie of my own generation (students ca. 1968) than in the characters of the next generation, though the filmmakers seem more interested in their contemporaries, especially Catherine [Laetitia Casta]. Also, there are so many characters crammed into the meandering 173 minutes ot running time that I could have used a scorecard (at least a lineup).

Political disappointment runs from the workers being bought off in 1968 to Chirac replaying Mitterand, with the emotionally leftist characters as puzzled as American liberals by rust belt Trump voters.

My favorite Ducastel/Martineau film remains The Adventures of Felix (Drôle de Felix); I also prefer My Life on Ice (Ma Vraie Vie à Rouen) and Côte d’Azur to Born in ’68. I like their road (albeit only across Paris) very graphic 2016 Théo & Hugo.

©2017, Stephen O. Murray


About The Author

Stephen O. Murray grew up in rural southern Minnesota, earned a B.A. from James Madison College (within Michigan State University), an M.A. from the University of Arizona, a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (both in sociology), and was a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley (in anthropology). He is the author of American Gay, Homosexualities, etc. and lives in San Francisco.