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Transcending the question of origins
Emna Mrabet

4 The immigrant in Abdellatif Kechiche’s cinematic work: transcending the question of origins Emna Mrabet Starting in the 1980s, filmmakers from Maghrebi1 immigrant families began to represent themselves and their daily lives. They revealed the discrimination they experienced and the problems arising from an identity crisis within French society. They set out to reclaim their history, offering a competing narrative to the stigma they had so far been subjected to2 (Tarr, 2005: 9). The 1980s signal a turning point in the history of the representation of people of

in Reimagining North African Immigration

The great American film critic Manny Farber memorably declared space to be the most dramatic stylistic entity in the visual arts. He posited three primary types of space in fiction cinema: the field of the screen, the psychological space of the actor, and the area of experience and geography that the film covers. This book brings together five French directors who have established themselves as among the most exciting and significant working today: Bruno Dumont, Robert Guediguian, Laurent Cantet, Abdellatif Kechiche, and Claire Denis. It proposes that people think about cinematographic space in its many different forms simultaneously (screenspace, landscape, narrative space, soundscape, spectatorial space). Through a series of close and original readings of selected films, it posits a new 'space of the cinematic subject'. Dumont's attraction to real settings and locality suggests a commitment to realism. New forms and surfaces of spectatorship provoke new sensations and engender new kinds of perception, as well as new ways of understanding and feeling space. The book interrogates Guediguian's obsessive portrayal of one particular city, Marseilles. Entering into the spaces of work and non-work in Cantet's films, it asks what constitutes space and place within the contemporary field of social relations. The book also engages with cultural space as the site of social integration and metissage in the work of Kechiche, his dialogues with diasporic communities and highly contested urban locales. Denis's film work contains continually shifting points of passage between inside and outside, objective and subjective, in the restless flux.

Identities in flux in French literature, television, and film

Christiane Taubira's spirited invocation of colonial poetry at the French National Assembly in 2013 denounced the French politics of assimilation in Guyana . It was seen as an attempt to promote respect for difference, defend the equality of gay and heterosexual rights, and give a voice to silent social and cultural minorities. Taubira's unmatched passion for poetry and social justice, applied to the current Political arena, made her an instant star in the media and on the Internet. This book relates to the mimetic and transformative powers of literature and film. It examines literary works and films that help deflate stereotypes regarding France's post-immigration population, promote a new respect for cultural and ethnic minorities. The writers and filmmakers examined in the book have found new ways to conceptualize the French heritage of immigration from North Africa and to portray the current state of multiculturalism in France. The book opens with Steve Puig's helpful recapitulation of the development of beur, banlieue, and urban literatures, closely related and partly overlapping taxonomies describing the cultural production of second-generation, postcolonial immigrants to France. Discussing the works of three writers, the book discusses the birth of a new Maghrebi-French women's literature. Next comes an examination of how the fictional portrayal of women in Guene's novels differs from the representation of female characters in traditional beur literature. The book also explores the development of Abdellatif Kechiche's cinema, Djaidani's film and fiction, French perception of Maghrebi-French youth, postmemorial immigration, fiction, and postmemory and identity in harki.

Abdellatif Kechiche and the politics of reappropriation and renewal
James S. Williams

5 Re-siting the Republic: Abdellatif Kechiche and the politics of reappropriation and renewal Space and being in contemporary French cinema Re-siting the Republic – Abdellatif Kechiche France, the country of freedom, the country of Voltaire. (La Faute à Voltaire) I have a dream that our suburbs will rise up. (A. Kechiche) With the striking exception of Vénus Noire/Black Venus (2010), a historical fiction about the life of Saartjie Baartman (the so-called ‘Hottentot Venus’) that goes back in time and leaves the borders of the Republic, the cinema of Abdellatif

in Space and being in contemporary French cinema
James S. Williams

, and also from behind, by means of the hors-champ. The cinematic frame becomes in his films a pre-eminently mobile and receptive vehicle for social and cultural inclusion, notably through sound. The lesson of Cantet’s ethical and aesthetic manoeuvres against ideological framing is that even a visibly open cinematic frame can operate as a closed, suspended and reductive visual form if it serves merely to enforce dead or empty social/cultural space. The cinema of Abdellatif Kechiche constructs a social and cultural frame that actively draws on the symbolic framework of

in Space and being in contemporary French cinema
James S. Williams

need to be fully alert to its intricacies of spatial form, dimension and valency. To maintain these two broad lines of spatial enquiry in productive, mutual tension will constitute in itself an experience of difference and relationality that defines the nature of space in cinema. The five contemporary French filmmakers explored in Space and Being in Contemporary French Cinema – Bruno Dumont, Robert Guédiguian, Laurent Cantet, Abdellatif Kechiche and Claire Denis – address the specific effects of reality and lived experience on the human perception of space and time

in Space and being in contemporary French cinema
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Véronique Machelidon and Patrick Saveau

trying to turn the book into a movie.’4 As literature and cinema have a long and productive history of cross-­ pollination and partnership, ‘critics and scholars have often worked with a mixed corpus, to foreground the rich interweaving of different strands of creative arts, novels and films that have contributed to the construction of the contemporary French cultural moment’ (Swamy, 2011: xxviii–xxix). Our contributors explore the intertextual relation between literature and film in the cinema of Abdellatif Kechiche and discuss television’s sociocultural role in

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Exploring the words of young people
Sarah Leahy and Isabelle Vanderschelden

different principles around which the film development is organised, pragmatically and aesthetically, and apply this approach to comment on the methods of two screenwriting directors, Abdellatif Kechiche and Laurent Cantet. Like Prévert, Jean Renoir, Jeanson and Eric Rohmer, they both explore authorial methods of preparing dialogue in collaboration with their actors (see Vassé 2003 : 42), experimenting with partial improvisation and

in Screenwriters in French cinema
Mona El Khoury

(Bouchareb, 2006: Indigènes), thrillers (Bouchareb, 2010: Hors-laloi), and historical dramas (Lyes Salem, 2013: L’Oranais), Maghrebi-French author-led films were more numerous and varied in genre and topic in the 2000s. Directors like Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche and Abdellatif Kechiche have since acquired significant visibility – Kechiche being awarded the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for La Vie d’Adèle (Blue Is the Warmest Color), a romantic drama on “white” feminine homosexuality. The English translation is the title of the graphic novel the film is based on.  3

in Reimagining North African Immigration
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Welcome and La Graine et le mulet
Gemma King

6 Coastal borders: Welcome and La Graine et le mulet W e travel now to the borders of metropolitan France for two films which place the dynamics of language and power at their heart: Philippe Lioret’s 2009 Welcome and Abdellatif Kechiche’s 2007 La Graine et le mulet. Each of these films is located on a coastal border of the Hexagon, yet despite their French settings, their narratives involve a decentring of the French nation. In its depiction of a Kurdish migrant desperate to reach British shores, Welcome offers an alternative view of the migrant experience

in Decentring France