Making research, good practices, learning activities and events on intercultural dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean accessible to everyone.


A new era of Maghrebi-French cinema: Two perspectives

Publication Illustration
Strohmaier, Alena.
European Journal of Media Studies
Year of Publication

From militant cinema in the 1970s, through beur and banlieue cinema of the 1980s and 1990s, to the popular box-office successes of the 2000s, Maghrebi-French and North African emigre filmmakers have played a crucial role in representing post-colonial French society from the perspective of France's most visible ethnic minority group. This book explores the work of these filmmakers on both sides of the camera since the 1970s, offering original perspectives and fresh interpretations of key films, both mainstream and independent. The book provides new scholarship on recently released films that continue to re-define the relationship of Maghrebi-French and North African emigre filmmakers to French national cinema: La Graine et le mulet (Kechiche, 2007), Indigenes (Bouchareb, 2006), Cartouches gauloises (Charef, 2007), Le Grand voyage (Ferroukhi, 2004) and Dernier Maquis (Ameur-Zaimeche, 2008). It takes an innovative approach on two fronts. Firstly through its investigation of the recent 'mainstreaming' of Maghrebi-French and North African emigre cinema.

With the crossover success of directors such as Allouache, Bouchareb and Kechiche and popularity of stars such as Roschdy Zem and Djamel Debbouze, these films and filmmakers are no longer confined exclusively to the margins (economic, political or artistic) of the French film industry. Secondly, the book engages with broader debates surrounding diasporic, post-colonial and exilic filmmaking, by examining the 'place' of these filmmakers in the local, national and global context(s) of their films. Using the concept of a 'cinema of transvergence', the book analyses the complex and shifting negotiations taking place within these films between the global/local, colonial/post-colonial, national/transnational as well as margin/centre. This is the first study to bring together a comprehensive comparative analysis of both Maghrebi-French and North African emigre cinema in France. It includes original analysis of films such as Indigenes, Cartouches Gauloises and Dernes Maquis. It discusses directors such as Allouache, Bouchareb and Kechiche.