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Representations of Childhood and Violence in Recent Films depicting the Algerian War: using cinema to locate conflicting memories.

Dr Joseph McGonagle, Lecturer in Cultural Studies in the French Speaking World, University of Manchester answers questions on key themes in filmic representations of Franco-Algerian relations, the advantages and pitfalls of using film to help students understand historical and contemporary Franco-Algerian relations(interview carried out by Natalya Vince, March 2009). The 12 minute interview took place just after the one-day conference on 'France, North Africa and the Middle East Interdisciplinary and Multimedia Perspectives', held at the University of Portsmouth on 18 March 2009. 1. What are some of the key themes in films that represent Franco-Algerian relations? 2. What are some of the advantages and some of the pitfalls of using films as a tool to help students to understand contemporaries or Franco-Algerian relations? 3. Do you think students are able to place their understanding of films in context of the real world? Do you think there’s a danger of over –interpretation? 4. Which 3 films would you choose which are most useful for students to study?

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