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Post-Migratory Cultures in Postcolonial France$
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Kathryn Kleppinger and Laura Reeck

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941138

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941138.001.0001

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‘Beyond Ethnicity’ or a Return to Type? Bande de filles/Girlhood and the Politics of Blackness in Contemporary French Cinema

‘Beyond Ethnicity’ or a Return to Type? Bande de filles/Girlhood and the Politics of Blackness in Contemporary French Cinema

Chapter:
(p.166) ‘Beyond Ethnicity’ or a Return to Type? Bande de filles/Girlhood and the Politics of Blackness in Contemporary French Cinema
Source:
Post-Migratory Cultures in Postcolonial France
Author(s):

Will Higbee

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786941138.003.0010

This chapter aims to promote an analysis of black female subjectivity as a means of considering the potential difficulties and contradictions that emerge in reading Bande de filles (Sciamma, 2014) as an example of post-migratory cinema. Drawing on Anthias’ (1998) notion of diasporic identity moving ‘beyond ethnicity’ as both lived experience and mediated reality through cinematic representation, the chapter will question how ethnic origins as a marker of difference are displaced by gender and, to a lesser extent, class in Bande de filles. Finally, the chapter will explore whether the proposed move ‘beyond ethnicity’ simply masks the same problems of stereotyping and marginalization that have traditionally been found in French cinema when black actors appear on the screen. Such questions lead to a related discussion of agency for ‘post-migratory’ artists and performers on both sides of the camera and the production of French ‘national’ identity in contemporary French cinema.

Keywords:   Bande de filles, Sciamma, blackness in French cinema, post-migratory cinema, ethnicity

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