On the Eve of the Journey: The New European Road Movie
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Time and again, in road movies the journey is represented as liberation. In contrast, a number of French-language films of the past decade explore the theme of travel not as release of energies but as tension—between places, identities, discourses and psychological states. They do so by focusing on the eve of the journey, rather than on the journey itself. The three films that Rascaroli explores are Far (André Téchiné 2001), Since Otar Left (Julie Bertuccelli 2003) and, in a more detailed case study, Welcome (Philippe Lioret 2009). While not being strictly speaking road movies, they are all centred on questions of travel and of legal and, especially, illegal emigration, and a journey is at the core of their narrative and thematic concerns.
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