Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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Six films that speak to France’s identity as a nation

New York Times film critics Wesley Morris and A.O. Scott have identified six relatively current French films that speak to some of that nation’s internal tensions and social ills.

I’ve seen four out of the six, and enjoyed them all for different reasons.

Here are the six:

  • “Caché,” 2005, directed by Michael Haneke
  • “Days of Glory” (“Indigènes”), 2006, directed by Rachid Bouchareb
  • “District B13” (“Banlieue 13”), 2004, directed by Pierre Morel
  • “Girlhood” (“Bande de Filles”), 2014, directed by Céline Sciamma
  • “Of Gods and Men” (“Des Hommes et des Dieux”), 2010, directed by Xavier Beauvois
  • “A Prophet,” 2009, directed by Jacques Audiard

Read the NYT article (“Six French Films That Speak to the Identity of the Nation“) for summaries of each film.

For another perspective, you might want to track down the 1995 film “Hate,” directed by Matthew Kassovitz. From a 2006 NYT article about how the arts had been saying that trouble was coming to France’s disaffected suburban youth, during the troubles of 2005:

At the time, Mr. Kassovitz’s portrayal of a seething immigrant Paris banlieue (or suburb), even his choice of title, seemed shocking and exaggerated. Today, the movie could almost pass for a documentary.

Another French film that I enjoyed and has some historical background to the present day is “Oct. 17, 1961” — a film about a march by Algerians in Paris that ends with an awful Bloody Sunday-style flourish.

Sat, November 28 2015 » Film, Main Page