'68 (2001) from Tuna

'68 (1988) is a delight. It is the story of the year 1968 in San Francisco, told through the eyes of two brothers, the sons of Hungarian refugees who have opened a restaurant. I am going to highly recommend this and don't want to give too much plot away. The thing that made this film far better than other 60's films is the balanced, yet accurate view of the area and times.Elements include the Hungarian immigrant community, a Chinese feminist Marxist radical, a gay coming out, a girl who ends up a country singer, hippies mingling with outlaw bikers, the draft, a married man having an affair, totally non-political people, in short, the exact mix I remember from the era. They intercut actual newsreel footage of the Vietnam war, Johnson's decision not to run again, the King and Kennedy assassinations, the Democratic convention in Chicago, etc.

They also had the music exactly right, including Country Joe and the Fish, Hendrix and Joplin. As a sort of counterpoint, the score also included Hungarian classical and folk pieces.   Cinematographer Daniel Lacambre did a magnificent job with the photography in what is a picturesque location anyway. The story is somewhat autobiographical for writer/director Steven Kovacs.


There were two nude scenes. In the first, a girl (Terra Vandergaw) decides to lose her virginity in the back of a VW bus. We see most of her butt and the crotch of her panties as she summersaults from the front seat into the back, and her breasts while making love. In a very well composed sex scene, Anya Lem has sex on the back of a motorcycle. She shows breasts and buns, and we have the Pacific ocean as a backdrop to the scene.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen anamorphic format, 1.85:1

Look for a cameo appearance from Neil Young as a motorcycle shop owner, and a great performance from Anna Dukasz as the Hungarian grandmother who is a former cabaret star, and from Sándor Técsy as the father. This film should appeal to those who know the era, and those who would like to, but, at the same time, is an interesting cultural study of several levels of society, and has enough humor and suspense to sustain anyone's interest.  

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews online

The People Vote ...

IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film although a low budget effort without big name performers, is still a B-.

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