The Right to be Different: Film, French Identity, and the National Space of French North Africans
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My thesis “The Right to be Different: Film, French Identity, and the National Space of French North Africans” asks two questions: Why do French North Africans continue to face high levels of prejudice and social marginalization even as they attempt to fulfill all the requirements of Republican French identity? How do film portrayals of North Africans provide an explanation for such issues of marginalization? Specifically, it analyzes depictions from four different films of French North African conceptions of personal identity, their interactions with native white French, and the legacy of the colonial period. My thesis discusses these films within the context of broader scholarship on how the concept of Republicanism contributes to French national identity and the challenges it is facing in the new millenium, and how collective memory of the Algerian War of Independance continues to affect the treatment French North Africans receive.