Film, Foucault and the Fringe: Outcasts of Contemporary French Film

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Contribution to Books

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For me this space of radical openness is a margin—a profound edge. Locating oneself there is difficult yet necessary. It is not a 'safe' place. One is always at risk. —bell hooks Who determines what "normal" is? Can "normalcy" exist without "abnormalcy?" Who is positioned at the center and at the margins of a society? What, if any, system of power is put into question when the stories of characters at the margins are recounted and seemingly privileged over those of "normal" individuals at the center of society? What, if anything, is gained by rejecting "normal society"? What is lost? More specifically, why in the last twenty-five years have so many French directors devoted films to characters marginalized by their socio-economic status, race, religion and / or gender? Finally, how can a theoretical text about eighteenth-century prisons better our understanding of power relations in modern society?