Monday 22 October 2018

Film Review: My Generation

The Mini British Film Festival rolls into town this October for another year of celebrating what makes Britain oh so great. Featured on the lineup in My Generation, a documentary about the Swinging Sixties. Groovy baby! Cue Soul Bossa Nova...

My Generation is all about the swinging 60s; the fashion, the music, the drugs, the film and TV, the big headlines, the people, the names and the faces that defined the era. Told through extensive archival footage, talking heads and interviews, the documentary delves into the past and presents the audience with the notion that nothing before or since has come close to aping the 60s in terms of cultural and social significance.

And it makes a compelling case, mostly due to how the argument is presented – awash with visual panache, it's hard not to get swept up in the energy of the era or nodding along at the tunes. It's an insatiable whirlwind of noise and colour – much like the decade itself – that races along and covers a lot of ground. The interviews – led by Michael Caine, who gets a 'presented by' credit – include big names such as Roger Daltrey, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Twiggy and Mary Quant.

That being said, My Generation isn't what you would call a nuanced exploration – it rags on the present in the same way your grandparents begrudge the "music of today" and smartphones while ignoring anything remotely critical of the past. Nostalgic to the max, this the cinematic equivalent of a Now That's What I Call the Sixties! double-disc CD.

It also doesn't offer anything new in terms of analysis – anyone who has glimpsed a 20th century textbook will be right at home here, as the film recounts stuff they already know. As documentaries go, My Generation doesn't push the boundaries or deliver new, insightful commentary – it merely regurgitates the same, rose-tinted stuff about the 60s, dressing it up in funky miniskirt and long hippie hair.

The Verdict: 6/10

So if you're so inclined to sit through an 85-minute greatest hits of the 60s, My Generation is for you. It's lively, energetic and has a lot of laughs, but opts to leave the boat unrocked and documentary nerds with a feeling of not getting no satisfaction.

My Generation will be screening in Perth as part of the 2018 Mini British Film Festival from October 25 to November 14. For more information, visit

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