Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe


Philippe Faucon(2000)


Genre: Coming-of-age story
Language: French plus some Arabic

This film is available as a DVD in the Project Library at Royal Holloway, University of London

Co-scripted by Soraya Nini, who wrote the book on which it was loosely based (Ils disent que je suis une beurette), Samia explores the world of a feisty teenage schoolgirl of Maghrebi origin and her rebellion against the values of her traditional immigrant Maghrebi family. Set in a banlieue in the North of Marseilles, it establishes Samia as a bright, rebellious 15-year-old with a lot of attitude but no prospects because of her failure at school, and charts her 'inbetweenness', torn between and restricted by both (white, French) social expectations and her (Algerian) family's patriarchal traditions.  At the end, after Samia refuses to undergo a gynecological examination, her mother shifts her position and supports her daughter.  

The film divided critics, some of whom found the portrayal of the Algerian family - and particularly the violence of the older brother towards his sisters - overly negative. For others, however, the film successfully accounted for violence and tensions within the family through its demonstration of the ways in which the brother in particular was excluded and oppressed by French society. 

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Last edited: 21 12 2007 - Designed by PageToScreen