Revolution Summer

Rated 3.0

This daring homegrown feature film by Chico-raised Miles Montalbano packs an intriguing countercultural wallop. Its stylishly fragmented drama follows a handful of 20-somethings struggling to find their way amidst political and cultural turmoil—in times like our own, but also reminiscent of other, earlier “revolutionary summers.” Pals Frankie and Charlie plunge into the underground of political violence. Free-spirited dancers Hope and Francine maintain a troubled friendship while drifting in divergent directions—peaceful activism for the one, drug-fueled hedonism for the other. Montalbano gets an outstanding performance from Mackenzie Firgens (as Hope) and a very good one from Lauren Fox (Francine) as well. And several of the film’s most memorable episodes take shape around distinctive supporting players—Gary Floyd as a raving street preacher, David Fine as a very scary gun merchant, and musician Chuck Prophet as a philosophy-spouting drug dealer. Jonathan Richman, the filmmaker’s brother-in-law, enhances the film’s restless moods with a quirky instrumental score.