Contemporary French Civilization

Siting images, citing worlds: Nouri Bouzid’s Bent familia and the Quebec connection

Contemporary French Civilization (2018), 43, (1), 73–90.

Abstract

This paper examines two images from 1970s Québécois culture that appear fleetingly in Nouri Bouzid’s 1997 drama Bent familia, analyzing the ways they inform the film’s off-screen referential space. By complicating the film’s otherwise straightforward “spectrum of geographical liberties” structured along old colonial lines, Quebec troubles the ostensible hierarchy separating France (and the West more generally) from its former colonies. Harking back to the hope associated with the era of independence, these two Québécois images nostalgically recall a moment when the Maghreb inspired desire for progressive change around the Francophone world.

Cet essai examine deux images culturelles en provenance du Québec des années 1970 qui apparaissent fugitivement dans Bent familia, réalisé par Nouri Bouzid en 1997, analysant les manières dont ces images façonnent le hors-champs référentiel du film. En compliquant la “gamme de libertés géographiques” structurée selon les anciennes relations coloniales, le Québec problématise la hiérarchie qui sépare ostensiblement la France (et l’Occident de façon plus générale) de ses anciennes colonies. Ces deux images québécoises, en évoquant l’espoir associé à l’ère des indépendances, rappellent nostalgiquement un moment où le Maghreb inspirait à travers le monde francophone le désir d’une transformation politique progressiste.

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Author details

Tolliver, Julie-Françoise