Annette Lévy was 21 in May 68. But, very quickly, the young feminist became disillusioned. In the demonstrations, the guys are shouting “Stand back girls!” They are the ones who write history, not them. This can not go on.

So, with her friends who had all read The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir, they founded the Women’s Liberation Movement (MLF). To defend the right to abortion and fight against the old patriarchy. Like the American women’s lib (for Women’s Liberation Movement), who are so far ahead: there, women have had the right to vote since 1920 and access to the pill since 1960. Rather attractive…

Also, after leaving the typing course where her father enrolled her, Annette and her friends, Nadja, Marielle, Cathy and Lilianne, decided to leave in May 1971 to spend a summer in the United States, to cross the country of Washington. to San Francisco by school bus, and meet their wrestling “sisters”.

Very personal road trip

The one who became the journalist and writer Annette Lévy-Willard unfolds a very personal road-trip, told in the first person by the clear voice of the actress Léonie Simaga. With the help of numerous archives (including her own, original), and a soundtrack that gives pride of place to Janis Joplin and what she calls “the rockstar of Woodstock”, Country Joe – the viewer will understand later this preferential treatment – ​​it effectively teleports us into the atmosphere of the 1970s, scents of marijuana included.

The film is not there to clarify certain historical points, such as the origin of the MLF, but to bear witness to the doubts and intellectual journey of a young woman, with a welcome freshness and frankness. No disappointment is avoided. Whether mechanical, sentimental (from her Parisian boyfriend to Roberto and his big motorcycle) or ideological. And there the film becomes downright fascinating.

Leaving to discover radical experiences – sexual liberation, anti-sexist struggles – the friends will thus realize that they do not have the same notion of radicality as women’s lib. When the latter criticize their shaved legs or declare that men must be emasculated, Annette does not hide her incomprehension. Further on, in Chicago, she wonders: “What mode of emancipation for non-lesbians?” And slices, “Your sexual liberation is not ours.” »

More or less long stays in various communities are also a source of surprises. If some members seem to apply the slogan “Enjoy unhindered” beyond the sixty-eight injunctions, in Salt Lake City, polygamous Mormons follow very different rules when, in conservative America, homosexuals are still hunted down… In San Francisco, the third collective of Berkeley will finally be the good one. Annette puts her suitcases there and “lightens her life” – a nice way to say that she no longer wears makeup or a bra.

The summer will thus last four years. A formative journey, which will decide young Annette’s choice to become a journalist and blows a life-saving wind of freedom when, half a century later, the right to abortion is called into question by the Supreme Court of the United States. United. “Nothing is ever definitively acquired”, said Beauvoir…

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