France has done a lot for film and film culture. The country gave us great directors like François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, and Jean-Luc Godard. Every year, it presents the Cannes Film Festival. And it’s also given the world the Cinémathèque Française, which is today one of the largest archives of film and film-related objects in the world. But in 1968, all of that, along with most of the rest of the country, ground to a halt. Student protestors and striking workers filled the street. The Minister of Culture closed the Cinémathèque. And the Cannes Film Festival, for the first and only time, was cancelled.

Want more from Cannes? Read our Cannes primer to get up to date on everything you need to know in advance of the festival. Stay tuned over the next week and a half for continuing coverage of this year’s festival. And if you just can’t wait, check out our Spotlights on Cannes and Titans of Cannes, where we highlight some of our favorite filmmakers and movies that have played at the festival. And watch our videos, Cannes Breakouts, Booing at Cannes, and our latest Flashback Fandor, Cannes: The Magic Touch.