Wrong turns: Radical spaces in the road movies of Tony Gatlif

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Despite its association with social criticism, the road movie genre frequently privileges a western, male subjectivity and presents unquestioningly his right to travel into the other's space. The films of Tony Gatlif frequently depict westerners travelling into North Africa and eastern Europe; however, the romanticism inherent in this movement is undercut by the films' insistent marking of these journeys as error. Deprived of the privileged relationship to space enjoyed by the classic road movie protagonist, Gatlif's characters are instead enveloped by the spaces through which they journey in a manner that recasts the oppositions such as inside/outside and centre/periphery through which western spatial privilege is maintained. This article focuses in particular on Gatlif's 2004 film Exils and its depiction of the exile's return to his homeland.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/trac.2.1.21_1

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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  • Transnational Cinemas has emerged in response to a shift in global film cultures and how we understand them. Dynamic new industrial and textual practices are being established throughout the world and the academic community is responding. Transnational Cinemas aims to break down traditional geographical divisions and welcomes submissions that reflect the changing nature of global filmmaking.
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