IMMIGRATION AND MEMORY IN POPULAR CONTEMPORARY FRENCH CINEMA: THE FILM AS ‘LIEU D’ENTRE-MEMOIRE’

Sébastien Fevry

Resumen


In this article, I would like to develop the idea that cinema could be thought as a “lieu d’entre-mémoire”. My aim will be to show how some films take part in a “global space of remembrance” (Hirsch, 2012) by interconnecting different memories from different times and events.

To support this idea, I will mainly work on recent French movies devoted to the question of the immigration as Le Nom des gens (Leclerc, 2010) or Le Havre (Kaurismäki, 2011). These films are interesting insofar as they connect the current question of the (undocumented) migrants with the memory of Shoah or with the memory of the victims of the war in Algeria. In this way, these movies open on a memory of the other in a French society which, under the Presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, is increasingly obsessed by the national memory.

My purpose will be to study these films of a social and aesthetic point of view to define the conditions of possibility of a “lieu d’entre-mémoire”. In this perspective, I shall show in particular how these movies call into question the family as classical model of memory transmission. In the films discussed, it’s certainly not a coincidence that the “entre-mémoire” happens in blended families in which the question of the filiation is replaced by relationships that aren’t necessarily relations of descent or heredity. It is within the framework of recomposed family that we will also observe the passage of a ‘self’ memory to a memory of the otherness.

 

Keywords : Visual Studies, Contemporary French Cinema, Immigration, Memory, Family


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1344/%25x

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