Reliving Expo 67, 50 Years Later

Pierre Huet on the documentary thriller Expo 67 Mission Impossible

Yes, I knew and loved Expo 67; I traveled it through and through and cried when it was over. I even wrote song lyrics about it, which you might have heard a few too many times lately.

In a book I wrote about a year ago, I said that for my generation, Expo 67 was not only a window on the world, but our own web as well. Suddenly, the entire planet was not on a keyboard, at the tips of our fingers, but at the tips of our toes, that is, if we were willing to use them to travel across totally made up islands.

Speaking of technology, one could say that at Expo 67, film was also reinvented: from one pavilion to the next, people were coming out of screens; or, the film was 360 degrees around us. Everything seemed possible. A funny story. I was at the International Film Festival that was taking place on site, to see a documentary on Bob Dylan, my idol at the time. At some point in the film, Dylan mentions Che Guevara. Instantly, the person seated next to me, good militant that he was, jumped to his feet and put his arm and first in the air!

I was laughing inside: yes, everything was possible, but the hero in the film couldn’t see or even hear us! A few weeks ago, however, I relived the same situation at the premiere of the documentary thriller Expo 67 Mission Impossible. As they watched the images go by and hear the stories of the protagonists, the audience in the room applauded incessantly, as if the hostess onscreen could hear them. Amusing? Yes; but more so touching. Just like my Expo 67 militant, the audience instinctively believed that the protagonists could hear them through the screen, as they claimed that yes, the next generation can change the world.

I hope you get to relive this experience, by seeing Expo 67 Mission Impossible in theatres.

Photo credit – Laurent Guérin / Productions de la ruelle

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