Muslim Women in French Cinema

Voices of Maghrebi Migrants in France

Leslie Kealhofer-Kemp

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ISBN: 9781781381984

Publication: December 14, 2015

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 41

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
Muslim Women in French Cinema: Voices of Maghrebi Migrants in France is the first comprehensive study of cinematic representations of first-generation Muslim women from the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) in France. Women of this generation migrated to France during the decades preceding and following the end of French colonial rule, and they are generally – though not always accurately – regarded as belonging to a generation of migrants silenced under the weight of poverty, illiteracy, Islamic tradition, and majority ethnic Islamophobia. Situated at the intersection of post-colonial studies, gender studies, and film studies, this book brings together a diverse corpus of over 60 documentaries, short films, téléfilms (made-for-television films), and feature films released in France between 1979 and 2014, and it devotes one chapter to each kind of film. In examining the ways in which the voices, experiences, and points of view of Maghrebi migrant women in France are represented and communicated through a selection of key films, this study offers new perspectives on Maghrebi migrant women in France. It shows that women of this generation, as they are represented in these films, are far more diverse and often more empowered than has generally been thought. The films examined in this book contribute to larger contemporary debates and discussions relating to immigration, integration, and identity in France.

Leslie Kealhofer-Kemp is Assistant Professor of French at The University of Rhode Island.

List of Illustrations


Introduction: Maghrebi Migrant Women in France and French Cinema

1 The Voices of Maghrebi Women in Documentary Films: Framing Construction and Transparency

2 First-Generation Women in Short Films: Crossing Barriers and Communicating Experiences through Objects

3 The Voices of Maghrebi Migrant Women in French Téléfilms: Portraying Agency

4 Transmitting the Voices of Maghrebi Women through Feature Films: From Verbal to Non-Verbal Forms of Communication






You will want to read and purchase this important book not only for its contribution to current discussions about French identity and the composition of the Hexagone, but also for its comprehensive overview of the various cinematic representations of this generation of women.
Michael F. O’Riley, H-France


'This study offers a rich compendium of resources and analyses for scholars working on French film and cultural studies across an array of disciplines.'
Greta Bliss, L'Esprit Créateur


'Muslim Women in French Cinema is well-written, well-documented and provides new insight into the subject.'
Professor Patricia Geesey, University of North Florida


'The strength of this book lies not only in the originality of its topic, but also in the unique way it examines a large corpus of films to show the diversity within the representations of first-generation Muslim Maghrebi women.'
Mireille Rebeiz, Irish Journal of French Studies

'Kealhoffer-Kemp’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in the integration of Muslims in contemporary France—a topic that has again become controversial.'
Mary Jean Green, French Review

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 × 163 mm

224 Pages

ISBN: 9781781381984

Publication: December 14, 2015

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 41

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