After months of unrest, student protests broke out in Paris in May 1968 that would ultimately lead to a general strike throughout France. The focus of the protests was on traditional institutions and the oppressive capitalist system. In 20 episodes, each lasting no more than three minutes, The Barricade is an hour-by-hour account of the most violent day of protest. The series was first released through Twitter as a series of live tweets, 50 years to the day since those events took place. This approach made it possible to maintain a historically accurate chronology, in what might best be described as fact-based fiction.
The Barricade captures two personal perspectives on the protests through archive footage and two different voice-overs. One is that of a student at the center of the resisting force, while the other comes from an immigrant worker caught up in the conflict that isn’t his. Initially, there’s still a certain romanticism in what we see, but the images become increasingly intense in the lead-up to the dreadful event that will change the lives of both protagonists forever.
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