Introduction
in Decentring France
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In a cinematic landscape increasingly characterised by multiculturalism and linguistic diversity, a number of contemporary French films are beginning to represent multilingualism as a means of attaining and exerting social power. Multilingual cinema is a particularly salient phenomenon in France, both in terms of production and reception. A year during which France's complex multicultural identity and hybrid social fabric was thrown into the spotlight, 2005 was a crucial time for multilingual film production in France. Contemporary French multilingual cinema contains a plethora of films composed of multiple languages. Postcarding is still a phenomenon which appears in the contemporary era, but strategic and meaningful multilingualism has overtaken superficial renderings of language difference. In contrast to more traditional, twentieth-century portrayals of multilingualism, contemporary French multilingual films often portray language difference as a narrative device in itself, and a means of obtaining and wielding influence over others.

Decentring France

Multilingualism and power in contemporary French cinema

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