Diane Kurys’ autobiographical remembrance of young adulthood, a sequel to her study in adolescence Peppermint Soda, plays the events of May 1968 from a unique perspective. Headstrong Anne (Elise Caron) runs away when her rich, status-conscious mother forbids her from seeing her working-class boyfriend. Her plan to hop a ship to Israel and join a kibbutz takes Frederick (Philippe Lebas) by surprise, but after some crossed connections they ride off with Frederick’s best friend Bruno (François Cluzet) on a giddy road trip. As Paris explodes in student demonstrations and citywide strikes, they become stranded in Venice when their car is stolen by a giggly Trotskyite. They hitchhike back home, dealing with one another’s quirks and emotions as the intimacy of sex turns into the greater intimacy of a genuine relationship, and at the same time experiencing the Paris revolution through newspapers, radio reports, and the passing remarks of road companions. Kurys looks at the ripples of May 1968 rather than the splash, giving it a curious distance while dealing with its echoes throughout the country (in one powerful scene a cop relates his terrified experiences on the front lines). It’s a travelogue of the personal experience of three kids through a time and a place, and Kurys’ sensitivity to the trio and their journey gives the film poignancy and an easygoing immediacy. It’s one of the best films about the rebellion of young adulthood: thoughtful, sensitive, energetic—an honest portrait of kids of Kurys’ era looking for themselves. –Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com
Diane Kurys (born December 3, 1948) is a French filmmaker and actress. Several of her films as director are autobiographical. Born in Lyon, Rhône, France, her parents divorced when she was a child. She began as an actress with Jean-Louis Barrault’s company. She gained film stardom, but didn’t like the roles she was given or taking orders from others. With a government grant, she made her first film as director, Diabolo menthe (1977) (aka Peppermint Soda), which explored her life as a child of divorced parents, and focused on her relationship with her sister, to whom she dedicated the movie.
Cocktail Molotov (1980) was her next film. In Coup de Foudre (1983) (aka Entre Nous), the divorce issue is revisited, with Isabelle Huppert playing the heroine’s mother. Kurys made her first English-language film, A Man in Love, in 1987. C’est la vie (aka La Baule-les-Pins) (1990) returned to her alter-ego leading character’s adolescent… read more