Far-flung Families in Diasporic European Cinema

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


In the age of globalisation, diasporic and other types of transnational family are increasingly represented on film, yet they have been neglected in film studies. This paper emerges from Daniela Berghahn’s ongoing research on the topic (see: www.farflungfamilies.net). She sees the preponderance of family narratives as related to the family’s dual function as a prime site of identity formation and as a trope of belonging. As cinema tends to depict social conflicts and historical transitions indirectly through affective relations in the family, the diasporic family on screen crystallises the emotionally ambivalent response to growing family diversity in western societies. Constructed as Other on account of their ethnicity, language and religion, diasporic families are perceived as a threat to the social cohesion of western host societies. At the same time they often embody a nostalgic longing for the traditional family, imagined in terms of extended kinship ties and superior family values.

Period2 Apr 2013
Held atUniversity of St. Andrews, Centre for Film Studies