As an American who's seen some films by each of these two revolutionaries (I'm especially fond of Godard's), I found this documentary about them, their movies, their relationship, and their times very informative. It's one of those things that, while it teaches me so much, also reminds of how much I still don't know. By that I mean, I can watch the films of Godard and Truffaut and believe that I appreciate and "get" them, including how they "changed French cinema forever." But then, how can I do that, really, without fully knowing the contexts in which the films were made? Or why their makers made them, and what they apparently meant to say with them? Since their work isn't faked fly-on-the-wall "realism," it's always doing something different. I can catch--understand, and feel--some of that difference, but their films can't speak honestly to me, as I think their makers generally meant them to do, unless I know much more than I do so far about the makers and their contexts.
"Two in the Wave" goes a long way in providing context (social, intellectual, political, journalistic, and more) and it makes me think that I should watch a Godard film, then watch this documentary again, then see a Truffaut film, and see this documentary again, then a Godard, and so on.
I do have two complaints--throughout much of this film, there's a woman flipping through magazines, especially Cahiers du Cinema (for which both G and T got their start, as very young film critics). I waited for an explanation of her presence, which never came, unless I missed it; she became distracting. I also found the effort to make something explicable and profound out of a sort of Fathers-and-Son relationship between G and T and the actor Jean-Pierre Leaud unconvincing; it seemed poorly thought out, and pasted together (though it was good to see Leaud's initial screen test). Also, at one point, the narrator (former Cahiers editor Antoine de Baecque) claims that 1968 student rioters created their riots in a way that imitated what they'd already seen in G and T films. While G and T do show us much about the insidious influences of film on life, that claim about the influence of their own films on life seemed like a stretch to me.
But then, I wasn't there, so who knows? Again, I lack context. I do appreciate the rest of the context supplied by this documentary, because it greatly helps in my ongoing effort to better appreciate the art of Godard and Truffaut.