Memories of immigration
Sous les pieds des femmes and Vivre au paradis
in Reframing difference
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This chapter focuses on Sous les pieds des femmes and Vivre au paradis, the two films that directly address the hitherto virtually taboo topic of the Algerian War of Independence as it was fought out on French soil. Whereas the memories evoked in Sous les pieds des femmes inform and disrupt the framing narrative present of Aya's painful remembering, Vivre au paradis more obviously consigns its topic to the distant past. The film is a loose adaptation of the autobiographical novel of the same name by Brahim Benaïcha, which chronicles the coming-of-age story of a young beur growing up in a bidonville in Nanterre, the bidonville being a privileged site for the anchoring of the beurs' own memories of immigration. These films are interesting because their wartime settings destabilise traditional Islamic gender hierarchies.

Reframing difference

Beur and banlieue filmmaking in France

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