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In this first major study of French colonial and postcolonial cinema, Dina Sherzer compiles essays by some of the foremost scholars on the subject who interrogate and analyze the realities behind the images of the nation's past and present. Through an examination of France and its colonies, multiethnic contemporary France, and cinematic discourses which have been and are being produced about France's colonial past, these authors explore how the images relay underlying assumptions and their relation to historical and political facts. A variety of subjects and viewpoints inform these studies, which cover the entire range of films on that topic. The authors expound upon the role French and Francophone films are currently playing in reconstructing and imagining France's colonial past. Not only do the essays examine how French cinema has represented the encounter of French citizens with individuals from former colonies during the colonial era; they examine how French cinema has portrayed and has come to terms with the cohabitation of former colonial subjects with the French in France. In addition, the book features another postcolonial facet by analyzing films of directors from the former colonies who give their own representation of colonialism and presentation of their culture. This study is a major contribution to postcolonial research. Race, gender, and geography are central themes throughout this book that presents innovative material that contributes to the history of French cinema and emphasizes how cinema participates in and is a part of national culture.
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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction (Dina Sherzer)1. Imperial Frame: Film Industry and Colonial Representation (Martine Astier Loutfi)2. Split Screens: La Maison du Maltais as Text and Document (Steven Ungar)3. Whither the Colonial Question? Jean Renoir's The River (Nandi Bhatia)4. Regarding Rouch: The Recasting of West African Colonial Culture (Paul Stoller)5. Le Colonial Feminin: Women Directors Interrogate French Cinema (Catherine Portuges)6. Empire as Myth and Memory (Naomi Greene)7. Filmic Memorial and Colonial Blues: Indochina in Contemporary French Cinema (Panivong Norindr)8. Third Cinema or Third Degree: The "Rachid System" in Serge Meynard's L'Oeil au beurre noir (Mireille Rosello)9. Decolonizing Images: Soleil O and the Cinema of Med Hondo (Madeleine Cottenet-Hage)10. Post-Tricolor African Cinema: Toward a Richer Vision (John D. H. Downing)11. Race Matters and Matters of Race: Interracial Relationships in Colonial and Postcolonial Films (Dina Sherzer)About the AuthorsIndex

About the Author

DINA SHERZER is Professor Emerita of French and Italian and Comparative Literature at University of Texas at Austin.

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