After directing the mesmerizing miniseries Carlos, the story of 1970s international terrorist Carlos the Jackal, Olivier Assayas looks back at his own youth in France during the turbulent late ’60s. Something in the Air is loosely based on his and his friend’s lives in their last year of high school; a time when students were an actual threat to the status quo. The film captures the era brilliantly; you almost choke over the constant cigarette smoke during clandestine meetings, feel the ink smudges from the mimeographs churning out anti-bourgeois newsletters and smell the gasoline used to make Molotov cocktails. It’s essentially a coming of age story, with the characters, not yet 20, choosing between their political passions and their personal art. The film doesn’t always hit its marks, but when it does it’s near perfect. Not since Costa-Gavras has a filmmaker walked such a fine line between art and struggle.
Director: Olivier Assayas
Producer: Sylvie Barthet, Charles Gillibert, Marin Karmitz, Nathanaël Karmitz and Christopher Granier-Deferre
Cast: Clément Métayer, Lola Créton, Martin Loizillon, Felix Armand, Carole Combes, India Menuez, Hugo Conzelmann, Mathias Renou and Léa Rougeron