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Stora, Benjamin

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Le Monde - France | 13/11/2010

Dealing with Algerian War at the cinema

This year France's International Festival of Historic Films focuses on the end of the colonial era. Historian Benjamin Stora looks in the left-liberal daily Le Monde at why so few French people go to films on the Algerian War despite the large number of movies on the subject: "Society is changing in France. New audiences like the grandchildren of Algerian immigrants to France are increasingly interested in the past. They want to understand the world they live in. The colonial history appears like a vast territory to be discovered in this voyage into the past. The cinematic portrayal of the past corresponds to this need. Why then are films on the Algerian War never commercially successful? ... One reason is the partitioning of memory. ... Another is that the French still find it difficult to watch the drama of this war on screen."

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