Open Roads, Closed Borders (Book)

The Contemporary French-language Road Movie

This is the first collection of essays about French-language road movies, a particularly rich yet critically neglected cinematic category. These films, the contributors argue, offer important perspectives on contemporary French ideas about national identity, France’s former colonies, Europe, and the rest of the world. Taken together, the essays illustrate how travel and road motifs have enabled directors of various national origins and backgrounds to reimagine space and move beyond simple oppositions such as Islam and secularism, local and global, home and away, France and Africa, and East and West.

Edition

This is the first collection of essays about French-language road movies, a particularly rich yet critically neglected cinematic category. These films, the contributors argue, offer important perspectives on contemporary French ideas about national identity, France’s former colonies, Europe, and the rest of the world. Taken together, the essays illustrate how travel and road motifs have enabled directors of various national origins and backgrounds to reimagine space and move beyond simple oppositions such as Islam and secularism, local and global, home and away, France and Africa, and East and West.

Michael Gott is assistant professor of French at the University of Cincinnati.Thibaut Schilt is assistant professor of French at the College of the Holy Cross.

'Open Roads, Closed Borders opens the reader’s eyes to a vast world of ideas by viewing them through the pinhole perspective of the contemporary French-language road movie'

Spectrum Culture, Josh Goller

'This is a welcome addition to a still-developing area. Gott and Schilt admit that there were many more films that they would like to have included; one can only hope that their suggested second volume sees the light of day' 

French Studies, Ben McCann

'Open Roads, Closed Borders constitutes a fresh criticism on the intersection of cinema, economy, and politics. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best books this reviewer has ever read on mobility-related issues.'

Annals of Tourism Research, Maximiliano E. Korstanje

'As someone who teaches contemporary French-language cinema, I continually search for texts to accompany the films my students view. To date, Gott and Schilt's collection of essays is the best-suited text for such a course. ' 

Mariah Devereux Herbeck, The French Review
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