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Contesting ViewsThe Visual Economy of France and Algeria$
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Edward Welch and Joseph McGonagle

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318849

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318849.001.0001

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War Child: Memory, Childhood and Algerian Pasts in Recent French Film

War Child: Memory, Childhood and Algerian Pasts in Recent French Film

(p.93) 4 War Child: Memory, Childhood and Algerian Pasts in Recent French Film
Contesting Views

Edward Welch

Joseph McGonagle

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers how recent films have interrogated France's Algerian pasts, and focuses particularly on their recurrent focalisation of it through the figure of the (invariably male) child: consequently raising questions about the formation and life of memory and its gendered transmission or suppression between generations. If, for example, the conventions of period genre adopted by Michou d’Auber (Thomas Gilou, 2007) and Cartouches Gauloises (Mehdi Charef, 2007) enable them to raise proleptic questions both about the Franco-Algerian relationship and about individual memory and identity in the wake of the conflict, the contemporary setting of Michael Haneke's Caché (2005) allows his film to dramatise how the conflict's legacy continues to permeate French society and the struggle between memory and forgetting which still defines it. Close analysis of these three films therefore explores how the conflict has been remembered in cinema and probes the links between childhood, France's Algerian pasts and the conflict's enduring resonance in twenty-first-century France.

Keywords:   Childhood, Memory, Cinema, Violence, Masculinity, Algerian War

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