INsite Magazine

Monday, September 28, 2009

European Film Series Tells Migrant Struggles

While the European film scene tends to evoke the colorful, quirky Amélie and stunning Life is Beautiful in the minds of Americans, a new free film series aims to shed light on some powerful but lesser-told stories.

Last Monday night (9/21) marked the first of the two-part “Migration in Europe” film series at the Hippodrome with screenings of Spare Parts (Slovenia) and Das Fräulein (Germany/Switzerland), two recent internationally acclaimed works brought to Gainesville by UF’s Center for European Studies as part of their year-long “Engaging Migration in Europe” series of events, presented with support from the Commission of the European Union.

The festival continues at the Hippodrome today (9/28) highlighting ethnic and racial tensions in Europe with free screenings of Inch’Allah Dimanche (France) and Hop (Belgium) at 7 and 9pm.

Set in the 1970s, Inch'Allah Dimanche is the story of an Algerian woman, Zouina (Fejria Deliba) who emigrates to France to live with her husband, three children and mother-in-law. It was made in 2001 by French-Algerian director Yamina Benguigui.

Though she suffers physical abuse from her husband and verbal abuse of her mother-in-law, she makes friendships in France that carry her through the abuse and the culture shock and leave her more confident.

An African teenager named Justin must run from the law and struggle against racism in his white surroundings in this Belgian film directed by Dominique Standaert. Shot in black and white, the film follows Justin as he tries to rescue his father from deportation by aligning with Frans, an anarchist who builds bombs in his home.

For more info, visit For a full list of “Engaging Migration in Europe” films, lectures and workshops, visit the Center for European Studies' Web site.

—Ashley Spencer, Amelia Marty

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