James S. Williams
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Re-siting the Republic
Abdellatif Kechiche and the politics of reappropriation and renewal
in Space and being in contemporary French cinema
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Abdellatif Kechiche's new form of francophone postcolonial cinema presents itself directly as 'French', all the better to rearticulate and displace the 'national' of French cinema. This chapter explores how politically significant is Kechiche's practice of cultural reappropriation and cultural metissage, and where material space is always already textual. It considers Kechiche's films in chronological order and examines in close detail their treatment of both external and cinematic space. The chapter traces the particular social and cultural frame constructed by each film, one that actively draws on the symbolic framework of State and Nation, and then establishes the cinematic processes by which it is actively 'deframed'. It shows the exact nature and function of Kechichian space and determines how it performs both culturally and politically. The chapter also shows how his films establish new, contingent, social sub-spaces and groupings beyond the officially sanctioned limits of 'intégration'.

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