It has been 40 years since May 1968. In political history and popular memory, that month has come to stand for a whole era of political protest. It was the month of les événements, revolt on the streets of Paris and a general strike across France. But it also evokes a year of popular resistance and radical politics around the world - from the United States to Czechoslovakia, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, and beyond. Rightly or wrongly, it also has come to represent a lost time of possibility. In some ways, May 1968 has become too iconic - too loaded with drama, passion, even eroticism. This series does not aim to represent the events of May 1968 directly. Instead, it follows the major currents of that time back into the politics of the postwar period, forward to the brink of the 1980s conservative revival, and around the world, connecting 1968 with the conflicts that marked the end of the colonial era.
Originally titled One A.M. (One American Movie), this collaboration among Pennebaker, Leacock, and Godard hoped to capture Vietnam War protests and what Godard believed to be imminent revolution in the U.S. With the filmmakers dispersed and a deadline looming, Pennebaker began composing the final cut. Departing from Godard's original plans, Pennebaker admitted "I was soon making a film of my own." The result, One P.M. (One Parallel Movie), combines cinéma-vérité, political theater, and interviews with key figures of the 1960s.