Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Revenant(s) de Guerre? Spectres of Decolonialisation in the French Second World War Combat Film

Langford, Rachael Elizabeth 2013. Revenant(s) de Guerre? Spectres of Decolonialisation in the French Second World War Combat Film. French Studies 67 (3) , pp. 355-370. 10.1093/fs/knt074

Full text not available from this repository.


This article examines the reticence of French film to engage with the Second World War combat film as a genre, and links this to the reticence and silence in French cultural memory over France's wars of decolonization. The theoretical frames of the argument are informed by the work of Rothberg, Silverman, Ricœur, and Rousso on cultural memory and the ideologization of memory and forgetting. The article explores three films produced at crucial points in the history of France's relations with its colonial others: Denys de La Patellière's Un taxi pour Tobrouk (1961) and Henri Verneuil's Week-end à Zuydcoote (1964) and Les Morfalous (1984). It considers how these films inflect the generic tropes of self and other, insider and outsider, home and away against the hegemonic representation of France, in the Anglo-American combat film genre, as fracture or dissolution, and of French people as passivity or absence. By examining these films' inflection of the Second World War combat film, the article concludes that each is haunted by anxieties over war, identity, and decolonization that relate not to the films' diegetic histories of the Second World War, but to other uneasy histories of France's wars of decolonization, histories that are simultaneously raised and repressed in hegemonic French culture.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0016-1128
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 02:22

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item