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Les Histoires d’amour finissent mal en général and Souviens-toi de moi

discussed in chapter 4 ) but also of comedies involving ethnic difference and films by a new generation of filmmakers which take for granted a multi-ethnic social background. However, even after two decades of settlement in France of the families of immigrants from the Maghreb, there were relatively few representations of young beur women. The majority of these films figure an ethnic minority presence primarily through black or beur males or black females, as

in Reframing difference

/Inner City , 5 Raï La Haine mobilises a trio of young men from different ethnic backgrounds – Jewish, black and beur – and insists on their common bonding within a hybrid oppositional youth culture, based on the language of the banlieue , music, drugs, petty crime, unemployment, hatred of the police and social exclusion, in a world where white, black and beur youths are all victims of police violence. The film follows the trajectory of the

in Reframing difference
Abstract only

-dominated genre such as the heritage film is now accessible to female directors. More important perhaps is the emergence of filmmakers coming from outside the traditional film circles, whose social and ethnic background contrast with their elders’. Thus, the release in 1995 of the first film made by the beurette Zaïda Ghorab-Volta, 5 Souviens-toi de moi, brought a much needed feminine element to what is now called ‘beur cinema’ and in which the absence of female protagonists was, until recently, a recurrent feature. The success of Y

in Coline Serreau
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The making of Medem

This chapter presents an account of Julio Medem's early years and a background of his family, lineage and ethnicity. It also throws light on what made Medem politically aware and inclined him towards films. Medem's initial attempts at making films were from his own household. His educational training was in anatomy, but he never practised medicine. 1983 to 1985 are described as Medem's film buff years, when he found out that he really liked the auteurist cinema. 1984 was when he enrolled himself for a course in professional video. Medem collaborated on the script, direction and editing of José María Tuduri's Crónica de la segunda guerra carlista, which prepared him for his narrative, Vacas. In 1989, he won a commission to write, direct and edit a short feature, El diario vasco. Eventually, Medem set the bar high for a ‘New Basque Cinema’.

in Julio Medem

backgrounds, in this case black-blanc-métisse . But whereas La Haine , despite its exhilarating style, is primarily a pessimistic, realist film, Métisse is a light-hearted comedy with a happy ending. Superficially, then, these two films, made only two years apart, appear to offer diametrically opposed constructions of France as a multicultural, multi-ethnic society, Métisse promising hybridity and racial harmony, La Haine beginning and ending

in Reframing difference
Representations of Marseille

) (completed something, as if, in ten films, I had spoken about my culture and political background, in a precise location, and that, afterwards, a new period began). La Ville est tranquille is clearly a crucial film in Guédiguian’s oeuvre. As will become clear, its representation of Marseille and its inhabitants on the eve of the millennium is equally important and it is evident throughout that this is a society on the edge. 1­ 94 Representing ethnicity As Abder pointedly remarks from Viviane’s balcony, Marseille is ‘magnifique’ (magnificent) when, like her, one is

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
Engaging with ethnicity

declare French public television ‘hideously white’ (as Greg Dyke, the then BBC director-general, famously described its British equivalent in January 2001), the fact that in November 2008 its then head, Michel Boyon, openly questioned how channels can reflect ethnic diversity if few producers, commissioners or heads of programming are from an ethnic minority background served as an acknowledgement that the ethnicity of staff plays a determining role and that only concerted action within the industry could change the status quo. As official reports suggest that

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
Marie-Line and Chaos

fairy-tale narrative structure of her earlier comedies, ‘bringing together two people from different and potentially antagonistic class and ethnic backgrounds and producing social awareness, humour and romance’ (Tarr with Rollet 2001 :181). Unlike any of her other feature films, however, the romance of Chaos lies in the relationship between two women, making this her most openly feminist feature film to date. However, the film raises a number of problems in

in Reframing difference
Samia and La Squale

backgrounds, be it the oppressive patriarchal Algerian family or the neglectful, black, single-parent family, and the films thus risk conforming to majority French cultural assumptions about inadequate immigrant families whose daughters need to be rescued. What makes them interesting is that they create heroines capable of rescuing themselves (with a little help from other ethnic minority women) and able to negotiate a provisional space of resistance for their emergent subjectivities

in Reframing difference

in’ (2007: 20). This notion that comedy can be a Janus-like process, a barrier as well as an entrance, both a ‘sword and a shield’, is important when we attempt to understand the relationship between comedy, race and ethnicity. Comic material in broadcasting and film can, as we have seen, have different meanings for different audiences at different times, but it invariably relies a great deal on

in Laughing matters