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Guy Austin

It has become a commonplace that ‘Algerian cinema was born out of the war of independence and served that war’ (Salmane 1976 : 5). Film in Algeria also preserved the memory of that war, legitimising the FLN regime after independence by mythologising the liberation struggle. State-controlled culture played an important role in the formation of a national imaginary after 1962, thus fulfilling

in Algerian national cinema
Guy Austin

Being Algerian has been described as ‘the most complicated history of citizenship in the world’ (Khanna 2008 : 70). Algeria combines an ancient Berber culture with the historical influence of diverse invasions and colonial occupations (Carthaginian, Roman, Vandal, Arab, Byzantine, Egyptian, Spanish, Ottoman and French). For Pierre Bourdieu, the French sociologist who worked on Algeria throughout his career, this complex

in Algerian national cinema
Author: Guy Austin

In terms of the so-called 'clash of civilisations' after '9/11', Islamic states such as Algeria have too often been perceived in the West as 'other' and hence as threatening. This book, via an analysis of cinema, provides a discussion on some misunderstandings and assumptions about Algeria, which remains to a large extent underrepresented or misrepresented in the UK media. It is about Algerian national cinema and illuminates the ways in which the official mythologising of a national culture at the 'centre' of the postcolonial state has marginalised the diverse identities within the nation. Tahia ya didou occupies a pivotal position between fiction and documentary, capturing the hectic modernization of the Boumediene era while reflecting back on the aftermath of historical trauma. La Citadelle presents gender differences as culturally engrained and patriarchal power as secure. Youcef, Bab El-Oued City and Rome plutôt que vous present differing visions of how a Freudian melancholia in the shadow of a crushed revolt might relate to Algerian experience after Black October. Lettre à ma soeur listens to the voices of the subaltern; the film is a sense of re-emergence that follows the initial insurgency of Nabila's activism, the trauma of her killing and the subsequent years of silence and self-imposed incarceration.

Open Access (free)
James Baldwin on My Shoulder, Part Two
Karen Thorsen

Filmmaker Karen Thorsen gave us James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket, the award-winning documentary that is now considered a classic. First broadcast on PBS/American Masters in August, 1989—just days after what would have been Baldwin’s sixty-fifth birthday—the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1990. It was not the film Thorsen intended to make. Beginning in 1986, Baldwin and Thorsen had been collaborating on a very different film project: a “nonfiction feature” about the history, research, and writing of Baldwin’s next book, “Remember This House.” It was also going to be a film about progress: about how far we had come, how far we still have to go, before we learn to trust our common humanity. But that project ended abruptly. On 1 December 1987, James Baldwin died—and “Remember This House,” book and film died with him. Suddenly, Thorsen’s mission changed: the world needed to know what they had lost. Her alliance with Baldwin took on new meaning. The following memoir—the second of two serialized parts—explores how and why their collaboration began. The first installment appeared in the sixth volume of James Baldwin Review, in the fall of 2020; the next stage of their journey starts here.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
An Excerpt from Bill V. Mullen’s New Biography, James Baldwin: Living in Fire, and an Interview with the Author
Bill V. Mullen

This excerpt from James Baldwin: Living in Fire details a key juncture in Baldwin’s life, 1957–59, when he was transformed by a visit to the South to write about the civil rights movement while grappling with the meaning of the Algerian Revolution. The excerpt shows Baldwin understanding black and Arab liberation struggles as simultaneous and parallel moments in the rise of Third World, anti-colonial and anti-racist U.S. politics. It also shows Baldwin’s emotional and psychological vulnerability to repressive state violence experienced by black and Arab citizens in the U.S., France, and Algiers.

James Baldwin Review
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Algerian national cinemas
Guy Austin

Currently, Algerian cinema is starting to reconfigure itself after two decades of attrition and collapse. The nationalised film industry of the Boumediene era is long gone, but there are signs that a national film industry might be under (re)construction. Those signs are small-scale. It was taken as significant that the comedy Mascarades (Salem, 2007) was released on as many as eleven screens

in Algerian national cinema
From Le Thé à la menthe to La Fille de Keltoum
Carrie Tarr

The beur and banlieue films discussed in previous chapters have been the work of either beur or white French filmmakers. However, the book would not be complete without a consideration of how difference has been reframed by Algerian filmmakers working in France. 2 The transnational status of such filmmakers makes their work particularly difficult to categorise. The 2003 film season ‘Hommage aux cinéastes algériens’, held at the

in Reframing difference
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From lost sites to reclaimed images
Guy Austin

Case studies: Viva Laldjérie (Nadir Mokneche, 2004), Délice Paloma (Nadir Mokneche, 2007), La Maison jaune (Amor Hakkar, 2007) A loss of identity and a sense of dispossession are two related and painful threads that run through modern Algerian history. They can be

in Algerian national cinema
Mourning and melancholia
Guy Austin

Case studies: Youcef (Mohamed Chouikh, 1993), Bab El-Oued City (Merzak Allouache, 1994), Rome plutôt que vous (Tariq Teguia, 2006). The events of October 1988 form a watershed in recent Algerian history. Known as Black October, this was the moment when popular trust in the state, eroded for years

in Algerian national cinema
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Tradition and taboo
Guy Austin

Case studies: Omar Gatlato (Merzak Allouache, 1976), La Nouba des femmes du Mont Chenoua (Assia Djebar, 1978), La Citadelle (Mohamed Chouikh, 1988) Gender is one of the most vexed questions in modern Algeria and has been approached in diverse films of different genres

in Algerian national cinema