Cocktail Molotov

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cocktail Molotov
Directed by Diane Kurys
Produced by Alexandre Films
Written by Diane Kurys
Screenplay by Diane Kurys
Starring Elise Caron
Philippe Lebas
Francois Cluzet
Music by Yves Simon
Cinematography Philippe Rousellot
Edited by Joële Van Effenterre
Distributed by Agence méditerranéenne de location de films (AMLF)
Release date
  • 6 February 1980 (1980-02-06)
Running time
100 minutes
Country France
Language French
Box office $3.5 million[1]

Cocktail Molotov is a 1980 French drama film written and directed by Diane Kurys. It is her second feature after Peppermint Soda. A female coming of age story set during the spring and summer of 1968, the film is not a sequel but can be considered "companion piece" to its predecessor.[2] It has been called a female take on the male-dominated road movie genre.[3]


Seventeen-year-old middle-class Anne (Elise Caron), runs away with her working-class boyfriend Frederic (Philippe Lebas) and his friend Bruno (Francois Cluzet) after a violent fight with her mother.[4] Anne convinces the others to drive to Venice, where she plans to take a ship to Israel in order to join a kibbutz. On the road, Anne grapples with experiences of love, sex, abortion, and "existential wandering".[5] Upon reaching Venice, they learn of the social uprising back in Paris. With their money running out and their car stolen, they hitchhike back to find they have missed the excitement.[6]


Cocktail Molotov did not do as well as Peppermint Soda, Kurys' critically acclaimed first feature released three years earlier.[7][8] Film studies scholar Carrie Tarr has written that audiences may have been confused by Kurys treatment of May '68 as nearly devoid of protest and politics, instead focusing on an explicitly female personal drama, as opposed to the generally male-centered view of the student revolts. She also notes that Kurys had had to rewrite the script due to budget constraints which made reenacting the barricading of Paris streets impossible, and further cut explicitly political scenes out in the editing process to further emphasize the teenagers' story.[9] Perhaps in a reaction to its lack of political content, Vincent Canby's 1981 review in the New York Times called the film "a nearly perfect example of the kind of French film that apotheosizes middle-class values while pretending to question them".[10] While Tarr writes that the film does not depict abortion, love triangles, or the subjectivity of the female central character as well as other films,[11] its autobiographical elements, its pairing of personal narrative with larger, historical events[12] and other connections with the rest of Kurys' filmography mark it as an essential part of her work as auteur.[13]



  1. ^
  2. ^ Tarr 1999, pg. 39.
  3. ^ Tarr 1999, pg. 53.
  4. ^ Foster 1995, p. 211.
  5. ^ Foster 1995, pg. 211.
  6. ^ Canby 1981.
  7. ^ Tarr 1999, pgs. 40, 150.
  8. ^ Tarr 2002, pg. 223.
  9. ^ Tarr 1999, pgs. 39-40.
  10. ^ Canby 1981.
  11. ^ Tarr 1999, pg. 54.
  12. ^ Tarr 1999, pg. 45.
  13. ^ Tarr 1999, pg. 143


  • Canby, Vincent (April 26, 1981). "NY Times: 'Cocktail Molotov'". NY Times. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  • Foster, Gwendolyn Audrey. Women Film Directors: an International Bio-critical Dictionary. Greenwood Press, Westport, 1995.
  • Tarr, Carrie. Diane Kurys. Manchester University Press, New York, 1999.
  • Tarr, Carrie.Fifty Contemporary Filmmakers ed. by Yvonne Tasker. Rutledge, New York, 2002.

External links[edit]