The period from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s was a turbulent one in many parts of the world. While African and Asian countries struggled for and gained independence from colonial powers, the United States expanded its own "imperial" interests in Southeast Asia and Latin America, with important effects on the colonial powers themselves. In Europe—East and West—there was widespread political and cultural upheaval, culminating in the violent events of 1968. Cinema was no exception to the general sense of change in the cultural realm and was an important contributor to it. The period saw a number of "new waves" in cinema in different countries, but the best known—and the one that gave its name to the others, sometimes also referred to as "new cinema" or "young cinema"—was the French nouvelle vague , generally considered to have surfaced in 1958–1959 and to have had decisive effects on French cinema, as well as other national cinemas, at least until the mid-1960s, although its influence and reputation lasted much longer and continues today.