Reframing Difference: Beur and Banlieue Filmmaking in France

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Manchester University Press, Sep 17, 2005 - Performing Arts - 230 pages
'Reframing difference' is the first major study of two overlapping strands of contemporary French cinema, 'cinéma beur' (films by young directors of Maghrebi descent) and 'cinéma de banlieue' (films set in France's disadvantaged outer-city housing estates). These films mobilise the voices and narratives of France's most stigmatised postcolonial others to address issues of ethnicity and difference which are central to today's debates about what it means to be French. Carrie Tarr's insightful account of the development of 'beur' and 'banlieue' filmmaking - from the 1980s to the present and from the margins to the mainstream - draws on a wide range of films, including Mehdi Charef's 'Le Thé au harem d'Archimède' (Tea in the Harem), Mathieu Kassowitz's 'La Haine' (Hate) and Djamel Bensalah's hit comedy, 'Le ciel, les oiseaux... et ta mère' (Boys on the Beach). Her analyses compare the work of male and female, majority and minority filmmakers at particular junctures, and emphasise the significance of authorship in the representation of gender and ethnicity. Foregrounding such issues as the quest for identity, the negotiation of space and the recourse to memory and history, she argues that films by directors of Maghrebi descent challenge and reframe the symbolic spaces of French culture. This timely book is essential reading for all those interested in the relationship between cinema and citizenship in a multicultural society.

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Questions of identity in beur cinema from Le Thé au harem dArchimède to Cheb
Beurz in the hood Le Thé au harem dArchimède and Hexagone
Ethnicity and identity in Mathieu Kassovitzs Métisse and La Haine
Beur and banlieue cinema in 1995
Beur women in the banlieue Les Histoires damour finissent mal en général and Souvienstoi de moi
Masculinity and exclusion in post1995 beur and banlieue films
Grrrls in the banlieue Samia and La Squale
Memories of immigration Sous les pieds des femmes and Vivre au paradis
Heroines of crosscultural social protest MarieLine and Chaos
Beur filmmaking in the new millennium from Le Raïd to Jeunesse dorée
Voices from the Maghreb from Le Thé à la menthe to La Fille de Keltoum

Beurs in the provinces from LHonneur de ma famille to Drôle de Félix

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Page 10 - ... practices and representations even after the formal end of colonialism. Although colonialist discourse and Eurocentric discourse are intimately intertwined, the terms have a distinct emphasis. While the former explicitly justifies colonialist practices, the latter embeds, takes for granted, and "normalizes" the hierarchical power relations generated by colonialism and imperialism, without necessarily even thematizing those issues directly.
Page 20 - ... it is the city which provides the space in which emergent identifications and new social movements of the people are played out.

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About the author (2005)

An episode-by-episode look at the series, covering every show in each of the seven seasons with each episode broken down into recurring categories to analyze the themes of the show, unearth pop culture and soundtrack information, serve up the best lines of dialogue, expose continuity errors, analyze the show's subtext and serious issues - all in a style that captures the unique humor of the show.

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