Day School: Exploring Colonial Melodrama

Isaach De Bankolé as Protée with Cécile Ducasse as the young France in Chocolat

Mechanics Institute Library, Bradford

Saturday 14 March, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Tutor: Roy Stafford

The legacy of empire and colonisation lies uneasily across contemporary Europe and provides a rich source of story ideas for filmmakers. In particular, the melodrama, with its focus on relationships, seems uniquely suited for an exploration of the themes of oppression and the clash of cultures. The colonised must choose to resist or to acquiesce or, perhaps, attempt to join the the coloniser and be ‘accepted’. These questions of identity are still being raised in the ‘post-colonial world’ after the independence of most European colonies between the 1940s and the 1970s. Colonial melodramas which thrived in the colonial period are still being produced in the post-colonial world.

The day will focus mainly, but not completely, on European films. Our full screening will be Chocolat (France-West Germany-Cameroon 1988). This début film by Claire Denis uses all the elements of the colonial melodrama but presents them largely from a child’s perspective resulting in a more distanced critique. Denis herself was brought up in Africa as the daughter of a colonial civil servant in the 1950s and several of her films address identity in colonial and post-colonial settings. 

Tea and coffee are available in the Mechanics Institute Library. There are places nearby to buy lunch but you are also welcome to bring your own.

Tickets are £18 and £12 concessions.

Book Tickets

Posted in General by / February 21st, 2020 / No Comments »

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