Contemporary French Civilization

The unspoken languages of Alain Gomis’s cinema: space, sound, and the body

Contemporary French Civilization (2022), 47, (1), 67–88.

Abstract

This article examines the body, space, and sound in three of Franco-Senegalese director Alain Gomis’s feature films, Andalucia (2007), Tey (2012), and Félicité (2017). These narrative and aesthetic strategies situate Gomis’s work within Hamid Naficy’s concept of accented cinema and Laura Marks’s category of intercultural cinema. The multisensoriality of Gomis’s films, notably evoking the aural and tactile senses, expand my discussion beyond the visual and align his approach with current areas of inquiry in film studies. I argue that these unspoken languages offer new possibilities for considering the decentering project of cinéma-monde as they transcend geographical borders, linguistic boundaries, and historically defined binaries.

Cet article examine le corps, l’espace, et le son dans trois long-métrages du réalisateur franco-sénégalais Alain Gomis: Andalucia (2007), Tey (2012), et Félicité (2017). Ces stratégies narratives et esthétiques renvoient au contexte du cinéma accentué de Hamid Naficy et la catégorie du cinéma interculturel de Laura Marks. L’aspect multisensoriel des films de Gomis, évoquant les sens de l’ouïe et du son, aborde des discussions actuelles dans les études du cinéma. A travers l’idée du non-dit, je cherche à montrer que ce phénomène nous mène à de nouvelles voies dans le projet décentré du cinéma-monde puisqu’elle dépasse les limites géographiques, linguistiques, et un binaire français/francophone.

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Keefe, Anna V.