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Representations of Marseille

the embodiment of the city and as upstanding as the city’s most famous religious landmark. Therefore, because he acts as symbolic watchman of the city and is the only character who manages to transgress social class segregations, Abder’s death is all the more foreboding for Marseille’s future. Despite earlier precedents –  such as the end of Dernier été (1981) and the film Dieu vomit les tièdes (1991) – La Ville est tranquille stands out as Guédiguian’s bleakest film to date. Marseille, on the eve of the millennium, is pictured here as teetering on apocalypse. Life

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
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Education Lionel Jospin reinstated the students – a decision later upheld by the Conseil d’État, which ruled that wearing religious insignia did not per se constitute an act of proselytism and therefore did not contradict French laws on laïcité. Instead it found the headmaster at fault for not respecting the young women’s right to profess their religious faith, a right guaranteed by the Republic. The subject resurfaced in 1994 when the Education Minister François Bayrou – a member of the centre-right Édouard Balladur government elected the previous year – issued a

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
Parameters of Jewish identity

the Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration in Paris –  Patrick Zachmann’s second book, Enquête d’identité: un Juif à la recherche de sa mémoire (1987) documents his journey to discover the meaning and significance of Jewishness in late 1970s to mid-1980s France. Investigating its social, political and religious dimensions, Zachmann’s chapters are structured t­hematically; addressing aspects of Judaism; the legacy of the Holocaust; Jewish social gatherings; anti-Semitism; the Jewish diaspora in Paris; and Zachmann’s own family. Jewishness, therefore, has no

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
Coline Serreau and intertextuality

nature (return to nature) is also reminiscent of the ecological concerns found in France in the 1970s. Many hippies did leave their urban life to live in the countryside in micro-communities, rejecting towns and progress and subsisting on the fruit of their rural work and often raising goats. They criticised urban pollution and proposed another way of life which rejected the use of chemical energy and encouraged vegetarianism. The opening sequence of La Belle Verte combines elements of religious iconography of the early Christians

in Coline Serreau
Questioning gender roles

Since the beginning of her success as a filmmaker with Trois hommes et un couffin, Coline Serreau has often said in interviews that she considered family and children as a key aspect of society and of life overall. Although she does not specifically refer to women’s role, their role and place in the family unit is self-evident. This kind of statement might come as a surprise from someone who in 1978 professed her faith in feminism and the women’s movement, and her wish to link feminism with Marxism. It is worth

in Coline Serreau
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the two countries. In America, despite some opposition from education and religious groups as well as some progressive politicians, radio rapidly became commercialised, with programmes paid for and indeed run by advertising agencies and sponsors (Smulyan 1994 ). Although the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) were established as country-wide networks in the

in Laughing matters
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Representing people of Algerian heritage

-ending deferral of meaning that Mary’s hybridity as a religious and cultural icon posits. Suddenly at once both Muslim and Christian, holy and profane, two cultures and traditions are fused in the same space but coexist in 9 ­ 2 Representing ethnicity tension with their differences unresolved. The work’s inherent playfulness, coupled with the hybridity it champions, ensures that its meaning cannot be definitively fixed. Such a state of flux is further suggested by the self-portraits’ setting. The haik Sedira wears may be Algerian custom, but the blanket whiteness that

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
Engaging with ethnicity

spaces underlines its primacy in enabling visitors to explore the many complexities of this area: complexities that often seemed to escape many French politicians in power throughout this period. This wider era was also characterised by a series of polemics about the relationship between French national identity and ethnic and religious differences in French society more generally, epitomised by the introduction of legislation, which came into force in April 2011, outlawing the covering of the face in public. Specifically targeting Muslim women who wear garments such

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
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Coline Serreau and politics (1972–96)

creates an almost automatic acceptance from the viewers. Far from criticising the existing norms of sexual behaviour, Serreau avoids this altogether by giving the trio all the appearances of the ‘norm’. Far from makingher characters eccentrics or outsiders, she legitimates their wayof life by showing their obvious happiness and the total harmony they live in, a harmony only troubled by the traditional ‘norm’: Alex’s ex-husband, Fernand’s ex-wife and Louis’ parents.(The film’s content is discussed in more detail in Chapter 4

in Coline Serreau
From bad taste to gross-out

treasured perceptions, with rules, conventions and taboos, but there are occasions when the engagement causes offence, even if no offence was intended. Sometimes the response can be extreme in nature. Considerable controversy surrounded Monty Python’s film Life of Brian (1979) in which a young Jewish man is mistaken for the Messiah. Accused of blasphemy by numerous religious groups, Life of Brian was banned

in Laughing matters