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 immigration of former colonial subjects to 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.