Through circumstance, coincidence and necessity, eight characters find themselves drawn together. In various ways they're all irrevocably marked by the spirit of May '68, individually representative of the diverse political utopianism operating in the annus mirabilis of which Mailer wrote, 'One had the thought that the gods were back in human affairs'. Tanner gives us a Trotskyist journalist, an anarchic shopgirl who steals food, a transcendental mysticist, an educationalist; and labourer Mathieu Vernier (Rufus), who accommodates his friends' philosophies but realises that their enduringly optimistic visions can only be achieved through class struggle. Mathilde (Boyer), his wife, is pregnant with the Jonah of the title. Tanner again collaborated with John Berger, and the script is didactic and compact, though Jonah has a lighter and more humorous touch than The Middle of the World. It's a heady experience following their agile ruminations on time, language and perception, deftly superimposed on a film that pleases visually and formally.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||John Berger, Alain Tanner|