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Contemporary French cinema and the Second World War

Nazi-occupied France, 16 July 1942. The French police arrest 13,152 Jewish residents of Paris and hold them at the Vélodrome d’Hiver before facilitating their deportation to extermination camps, over two-thirds to Auschwitz. Not until 1995, on the fifty-third anniversary of the Vél’ d’Hiv roundup, was the French authorities’ complicity in this event officially acknowledged in a speech by newly elected president Jacques Chirac: ‘France, land of the Enlightenment and of Human Rights … France, on that day, committed an irreparable act.’ Reframing remembrance: Contemporary French cinema and the Second World War argues that Chirac’s speech marked a shift in the way French society, and its filmmakers, commemorated the Second World War. By following Henry Rousso’s model (outlined in Le syndrome de Vichy), viewing historical films as vectors of memory, this book analyses cinematic representations of the Occupation as expressions of commemoration. It charts the evolution of Second World War stories told on French screens and argues that more recent films are concerned with the collective experience of the Occupation, the pedagogical responsibility of historical films and with adopting a self-reflective approach to their narrative structures. With its catalogue-like structure and clear thematic analysis of key concepts such as resistance, collaboration and legacy, Reframing remembrance is an informative and accessible investigation into French cinema and its treatment of the Second World War.

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's Second World War commemorative trajectory would take place in September 2019, that of Jacques Chirac himself. Just like Pisar, Wiesel and Veil before him, Chirac's legacy as a catalyst for the devoir de mémoire was brought to the fore in many tributes. Many obituaries cited his Vél’ d’Hiv speech as a key moment not only for his political career but for French history. Haïm Korsia, France's grand rabbi, praised Chirac's curiosité pour le monde, sa connaissance du judaïsme et son goût pour l

in Reframing remembrance
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’ ( 2005 : 39). In order to consolidate a sense of French national identity, a myth was established to reinforce France's reputation as a collective, unalloyed nation of resistance fighters. This myth was subsequently cemented in numerous French films representing the period. The key focus of this book is to discuss the function of historical films as acts of commemoration and explore how French films about the Second World War made between 1995 and 2015, following a speech delivered by newly elected President Jacques Chirac, shifted the way the Occupation was

in Reframing remembrance
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An introduction to François Ozon
Andrew Asibong

a possibility in France, despite Jacques Chirac’s ongoing presidency. Twelve years later, the right-wing former Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy was elected to the Elysée, a testament to the country’s apparent acceptance of the triumph of a rampant individualistic neo-liberalism. Even if Ozon publicly spoke of the danger posed to the country by Sarkozy, over the period in which the climate for Sarkozy

in François Ozon
Abstract only
Joseph McGonagle

later qualified their support for some ethnic minority causes (Blatt 1997). The mid-1980s saw the Socialist government adopt a change of tone. Faced with the electoral success of the far-right National Introduction 5 Front party and right-wing politicians competing on an antiimmigration platform, financial incentives to encourage migrants settled in France to return to their country of origin were reinstated in 1984 and new restrictions were introduced on family reunions. Later, the election of Jacques Chirac as Prime Minister of a centre-right government in 1986

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
Regarde les hommes tomber, Un prophète and Un héros très discret
Gemma King

perception of the Resistance as a widespread movement that defined the French position and ‘spirit’ under the Occupation, in reality only between 2 and 3 per cent of French citizens participated in the Resistance during the war. The film’s source text was released three years before Jacques Chirac’s historic speech of 16 July 1995, on the fifty-third anniversary of the Rafle du Vélodrome d

in Jacques Audiard
Brigitte Rollet

decade before the fracture sociale (social fracture) became a fashionable political term (surprisingly coined by the right-wing gaullist party of Jacques Chirac during the 1995 general elections), a new expression was used to describe those who had lost all social benefits. The emergence of the nouveaux pauvres (new poor) led in 1988 (11 October) to the creation of the Revenu Minimum d’Insertion (RMI: the minimum benefit for those with no other source of income) by the socialist government led by the prime minister Michel Rocard

in Coline Serreau
Will Higbee

of Jacques Chirac’ ( ibid .). And yet, the timing of La Haine ’s release and its focus on the socio-cultural space of the banlieue is not enough alone to explain why the film went on to be such a commercial success, when the other banlieue films of the same year attracted only modest audiences. 18 Nor can it suffciently account for the reasons why La Haine became a social phenomenon

in Mathieu Kassovitz
Parameters of Jewish identity
Joseph McGonagle

wartime period. In 1993, on the anniversary of la rafle du Vél’ d’Hiv – when during 16–17 July 1942 Paris police rounded up over 13,000 Jews and then held them in a cycling stadium for several days before eventual deportation to concentration camps – François Mitterrand established 16 July as a day of commemoration of Jewish and racist persecution by the Vichy regime. Upon succeeding him as President, Jacques Chirac went one step further: the French State finally accepted responsibility for the deportation of thousands of Jews during the Occupation, which Mitterrand had

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
Sarah Cooper

catastrophe alongside that of the first round of French presidential election results on 21 April 2002, in which far-right-wing Jean-Marie Le Pen and right-wing Jacques Chirac were left as the only candidates. The film takes a critical look at broader political events relating to the US invasion of Iraq and re-exposes the fiction of the existence of weapons of mass destruction. Anti-war demonstrations are shown in Paris, which unite

in Chris Marker