How have examples of migrant and diasporic cinema contributed to formations of contemporary European identity?
Wilkinson, Chad (2016) How have examples of migrant and diasporic cinema contributed to formations of contemporary European identity? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.
This dissertation seeks to explore a collection of post-millennial examples of migrant cinema to gain insight in to how directors attempt to portray the complex notion of contemporary European identity. Through their use of genre, narrative approach, characterisation and visual style, directors including Stephen Frears, Kenny Glenaan, Chris Morris and Nick Broomfield, have displayed an ability to contest popular media discourse on issues of migration and national identity, and to portray the various effects of globalisation on migrant communities in a realistic and sympathetic manner. The films chosen for this case study, Dirty Pretty Things (2002), Yasmin (2004), Four Lions (2010) and Ghosts (2006), all make reference to a fluidity of identity that is not explicitly bound by geography and culture, but is largely ignored by mainstream media. Analysis into how this is achieved shall form a key investigatory path, leading to conclusions on how effective certain cinematic techniques perform, in regards to levels of realism, antagonism towards popular sensationalist media, and ultimately promoting social change. As largely signified by Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things, the adoption of popular genres can prove successful in regards to clearly communicating ideas on migrant identity and exploitation, but such approaches can arguably distil the potential for social action catalysed by film texts which display explicit ties to reality, through the docudrama form, or socially relevant and highly critical satire. These approaches shall be individually assessed within this dissertation, providing a means of establishing how proficiently cinema can contribute to discussions on identity and the social impacts of globalisation.
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