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Jesus Angel Gonzalez Lopez (Universidad de Cantabria, Santander), "Transnational Post-Westerns in French Cinema: Adieu Gary and Les Cowboys"


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Jesus Angel Gonzalez Lopez (Universidad de Cantabria, Santander), "Transnational Post-Westerns in French Cinema: Adieu Gary and Les Cowboys"

The concept of transnational post-Westerns stems from Neil Campbell’s definition of post-Westerns as films “coming after and going beyond the traditional Western [genre] while engaging with and commenting on its deeply haunting assumptions and values” (Campbell 2013: 31). Although Westerns started out as a national genre, they soon became a transnational phenomenon, which was received and interpreted differently in a variety of national contexts. Once Westerns nearly disappeared from mainstream cinema, post-Westerns exploiting their heritage have appeared throughout the world, applying their assumptions and values to specific national environments. These films have been termed transnational post-Westerns, and, as shown in previous studies (González 2016; González 2017) they share the following features: clear references to the Western genre, the choice of a specific area away from the American West which is used with a political intention, the scrutiny of the national identity and foundational myths and contemporary contradictions of that particular country, and the analysis of the difficulties of integration of racial, ethnic or social minorities, the “contemporary Others” equivalent to Native Americans in Westerns.

 This paper focuses on two French transnational post-Westerns: Adieu Gary (Nassim Amaouche, 2009) and Les Cowboys (Thomas Bidegain, 2015), two films that rewrite two Westerns (Man of the West and The Searchers respectively) into a French contemporary context, in order to analyze the problems and contradictions of the French Republican model and the integration of the Muslim population. Both films show the difficulties inherent to this model, and propose solutions that respect the rights of Muslims to show their difference.


 

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