All Volumes (2001-2008)


Volume VI, 2007

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Critical analysis of colonial and postcolonial cinema is a growing field of academic research. The editor of the International Journal of Francophone Studies, Kamal Salhi, explains that many American and English university French programs now offer degrees in this area of study (2). One line of research in this field centers on colonial and postcolonial memory in French cinema. This is because colonial memory has a problematic relationship to French national ideology. This thesis explores the causal connection between French colonial and postcolonial memory and melodramatic structures. Two French films, Indochine and Chocolat were the subjects of this study. These films were chosen because they both use a central character to recount colonial memories. They were compared to each other in order to ascertain the causal relationship between memory and melodrama. It was concluded that using personal memory to recount history does engender the use of melodramatic structures. It was also found, however, that the directors of the films react to the French nation ideology in different ways. Their reaction will influence the way that the spectator understands the French colonial experience.