Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of



Overseas Lands, Cultural Citizenship, and National Belonging in Contemporary French Cinema

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McFadden, C (2020) "Overseas Lands, Cultural Citizenship, and National Belonging in Contemporary French Cinema," 20th & 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, March 26-28, 2020.

DOI: 10.32873/unl.dc.ffsc.023


Copyright © 2020 C. McFadden


Drawing on films released since 2000, I analyze contradictions in contemporary France pertaining to citizenship and the French Republic, especially in terms of inclusion and exclusion, equality and inequality. This paper examines a range of iterations of discrimination, racism, and integration in documentary film. The documentaries reveal the lived experience of people of color in France to bear witness to the fact that attitudes tied to colonialism still endure and the ways which they manifest in daily life. In particular, two documentary films, La ligne de couleur (2015) and Trop noire pour être française ? (2015) underscore the disavowed phenomenon of racial discrimination in France. These films point not only to the ambivalence surrounding national identity and belonging, but also to unacknowledged presumptions about racialized categories of citizenship.

For Panel 4E) Blackness, Whiteness, and Belonging in France, organized by Étienne Achille (Villanova University).

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