Director: Philippe Saada

Author: Philippe Saada

Executive Producer: Olivier de Bannes

Broadcasters: Public Sénat, Toute l’Histoire (History Channel)

Release year: 2018

Running time: 52 minutes



On October 4, 2018, France celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Fifth Republic. It is a republic born in the throes of the Algerian War and one which—from the day it was founded by General de Gaulle until the presidency of a very Jupiterian Emmanuel Macron—has been assailed as a “Republican monarchy” by partisans of a more assertive parliamentarian state.

By revisiting the struggle of those who dared oppose the new regime — only to suffer a crushing defeat on September 28, 1958, when they were barely able to garner 20% of the vote against the constitutional text — this film shines a powerful new light on the origins of the Fifth Republic and its consequences for the next 60 years.

It is a constitutional debate that planted the seeds for a complete upheaval of the French political landscape, on the left in particular, and set the country in motion toward what would be called the Union of the Left.