More than fifty years after it was released into the turmoil of the late
sixties, Jean-Luc Godard’s first foray in his overtly political phase re-
mains as radical in its form as in its contents. Focusing on a group of
young students, artists, and workers who have gathered in an elegant
borrowed apartment in Paris to study Marxism-Leninism and Maoism,
Godard combines the clean lines and primary colors of pop art with
revolutionary discourse to present a typically kaleidoscopic vision
of the political ferment that would lead to the uprisings of May ’68.
Played by actors whose characters reflect their own lives, the young
people in La Chinoise struggle with the schism between the Soviet
Union and communist China and excoriate American imperialism in
Vietnam. The film abounds with innovative visual strategies including
filmed photographs and comic book frames, theatrical skits, and a
proto-video for a pop song about Mao, but its greatest achievement
rests in its dialectic approach, making room for entrenched radicalism
and an embrace of political violence as well as their critiques, which
are no less hopeful but considerably less destructive. It remains a
vital, dazzlingly stylish primer of political engagement before the era
of identity politics.

Jean-Luc Godard

Jean-Luc Godard

Anne Wiazemsky
Jean-Pierre Léaud
Juliet Berto

Drama, Comedy
95 min.
France, 1967
DVD, Blu-Ray

Kino Lorber EDU