Gemma King
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London River and Des hommes et des dieux
in Decentring France
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London River and Des hommes et des dieux comprise a collection of disparate characters, cultural groups and languages, which find themselves at first in conflict, and then in cooperation, with one another. In these films' multicultural environments, multilingualism is an asset, and those who can speak multiple languages have increased access to control, information and support. In both films French functions in a new way rarely seen before in cinema, and becomes an unanchored language in Des hommes et des dieux and London River's British and Algerian settings alike. Unsurprisingly, terrorism renders both London River and Des hommes et des dieux tragic and violent films. When encountering real or suspected enemies in both films, tensions between groups are brought to the fore, and various characters in each film display mistrust and fear of the ethnic and religious other.

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Decentring France

Multilingualism and power in contemporary French cinema


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