Generic hybridity in diasporic cinema

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


In the essay ‘Hybrid or inbred: The purity hypothesis and Hollywood genre history’, Janet Staiger (2003) suggests that certain ‘films created by minority or subordinated groups’ are truly ‘hybrid genres’, in so far as they are based on ‘truly cross-cultural encounters’ and ‘use genre mixing or genre parody to dialogue with or criticize the dominant’. This paper will consider how diasporic filmmakers have revitalised popular genres by juxtaposing and fusing narrative and musical traditions, languages and performance styles from more than one (film) culture. I shall examine how Rachid Bouchareb’s historical imaginary Outside the Law (2010) tells the story of the Algerian War of as a gangster movie cum family saga, modeled on The Godfather, and how Fatih Akin’s Head-On (2004) appropriates the transnational genealogy of the of Sirk and Fassbinder’s melodramas while simultaneously drawing on popular Turkish Yeşilçam melodrama, in particular, arabesk singer films.

Conference paper at Annual NES Conference, Creative Energies, Creative Industries, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan
Period19 Jun 201421 Jun 2014
Event typeOther


  • genre film
  • genre hybridity
  • diasporic cinema
  • European cinema