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Examine strategies adopted by the directors studied on the course to depict marginality in modern French society.

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Introduction

Examine strategies adopted by the directors studied on the course to depict marginality in modern French society. Marginality within a society speaks of something or someone that is not important which results in them being excluded from society and leaves them feeling alienated. 'La Haine' and 'Sans toit ni loi' are two films developed around the period of 'la fracture sociale', the former centred on the community in particular and the later centred primarily on the individual. The 1980's saw the rise of civil unrest in inner cities, which similarly led to a rise in unemployment and educational problems. There was also the perceived threat of national identity, and at the same time worries about Muslim integration had commenced. It was at around this time that there was the 'affaire du foulard,' a very controversial period as the French republic separates the church and the state. The difficulty of integration and threat of national identity, developed into the French media using the 'la fracture sociale.' 'La Haine,' was brought out at a moment in France during the Mitterrand period, where serious questions were being asked about integration and immigration. A controversial film, Mathieu Kassovitz' film 'La Haine,' represents an account of 'la fracture sociale,' or rather divisions within a society. Marginality is a result of divisions within a society, and in the case of 'La Haine', these divisions are due to social and racial conflict. Because of such conflicts and divisions it results in certain social, as well as ethnic groups, being excluded from society as a whole. 'La Haine,' is set in Paris and more specifically in the 'banlieu's' of Paris, the outskirts of Paris. ...read more.

Middle

Not only is she reflecting her alienation from society by firstly being alone, but also by defying traditional female expectations of how she should be living. It puts into question her Feminine role, which is explored through Mona's life on the road after her death. To those who meet Mona along her journey, they find her radical and out of the ordinary. They are not used to meeting people, and woman of this nature and this prevents her from forming any sort of bond with those that she meets as they are incapable of understanding her. Mona also possesses an indifference to any forms of normality, and it is this indifference to normal social relations that enamours her to some while at the same time others find repelling. The people that appear to be enamoured by her are those that wish to be in her position, free to have the space to do what they want to do, those that are enclosed and caged in their traditional and suffocating female roles. These women at first sight see Mona's braveness and rebellion, and contemplate what it would be like to be in her position. Her presence affects middle-aged housewives, schoolgirls, truckers, mechanics, construction workers, academics, and domestics. Each reacts to her in a way that is indicative of her or his social position in the community. For example, a young farm girl helps Mona fill her water bottle at the family pump and later, during a family dinner, she tells her parents she wants to be free like the camper. When her mother asks who would make her dinner every night, the girl quietly replies, "At times it would be better not to eat." ...read more.

Conclusion

Even her degree of independence is emphasised by the tracking shots; they do not follow her exactly, as the camera either overtakes her or she overtakes the camera. Although we consider Mona as part of the marginal of society, throughout the film we also see her interacting with other groups of marginals: the Mahgrebian migrant workers, the homeless and also the goatherd. Yet Mona also finds exclusion amongst these groups too, this is particularly obvious when the goatherd says to her: "You're not a drop out, you're just out. You don't exist." This may as well be the case because although Mona is alive, it is as though she is not really living. 'La Haine' and 'Sans toit ni loi' are two films which present the theme of marginality, the former questioning marginality in terms of femininity and female marginality and the later concerned with marginality within the community. 'La Haine' and "The Banlieue is presented as a dessert, with no feeling of public space and precious little private space either; Paris where Vinz, Said and Hubert spend almost half the film, is rejecting and alienatory." 'La Haine' is in fact, to quote Olivier Mongin, "the impossibility of developping an identity, personal or collective." This film is concerned In 'Sans toit ni loi,' the interviews function almost as verbal testimonies; they are not chronologically placed fading in and out, an unconventional style. They also create distance for the spectator, and it is this effect that allows us to judge Mona in some way. We also are able to judge Mona through Varda's use of art. When Mona comes from the sea it recalls the myth of Venus, but in reality Mona is the total opposite of this. Mona is dark from the dirt, smelly and of 'undefinable shape. ...read more.

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