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The sacrificial sheep in three French-North African films: Displacements and reappropriations

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In this article I will examine three films featuring Maghrebi migrant families between the 1960s and the present day, Le Gone du Chaâba (1997) by Christophe Ruggia, Inch’Allah Dimanche (2001) by Yamina Benguigui and Le Grand Voyage (2004) by Ismaël Ferroukhi. Each film portrays tensions between generations, between sexes, between societies and between beliefs and values. The tradition of the sacrifice of a sheep in Islam features in all three films and I use this theme to highlight how different members of the families sacrifice themselves or are sacrificed in the process of accommodating to a new way of life. I also deconstruct other subtextual references to Islamic culture and belief as representations of dilemmas and forms of reconciliation and belonging.
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Keywords: Eid Al Adha, identity; France; Islam; Maghreb; North Africa; belonging; migration; religious rituals; transmission

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Brighton

Publication date: 01 March 2016

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  • The Journal of African Cinemas will explore the interactions of visual and verbal narratives in African film. It recognizes the shifting paradigms that have defined and continue to define African cinemas. Identity and perception are interrogated in relation to their positions within diverse African film languages. The editors are seeking papers that expound on the identity or identities of Africa and its peoples represented in film.
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