Globe: national borders
Dheepan and Les Frères Sisters
in Jacques Audiard
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The notion of ‘French cinema’ as an inseparable, French-language product of ‘France’ is a powerful one, connected as much with the practical realities of French film production as with the influence of the cultural imaginary. This chapter reveals the challenge to such ideas posed by Audiard’s most recent films, the Tamil-language Dheepan (2015) and English-language Les Frères Sisters (2018). It begins with an analysis of Dheepan’s multilingual, transcultural portrayal of the Sri Lankan war zone and the Parisian banlieue as sites of eternal border-crossing and border contestation. It then moves on to the book’s final film analysis, Les Frères Sisters, in which the reinvention of the Western genre tradition collides with the reworking of the slippery notions of the national versus the transnational that define Audiard’s work.

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