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Cinema of Paradox reveals, for the first time in English, the difficult course of French filmmaking from the declaration of war in 1939 through four years of misery to France's liberation in 1944. Evelyn Ehrlich examines the conditions of filmmaking as they reflected the larger political, cultural, and social context within occupied France. And, using previously unexamined German documents, she also looks at the French film business from the occupier's perspective, showing how the Nazis actually encouraged the French to maintain their high cinematic standards to achieve German economic and propaganda goals.
When collective memory is a source of national debate, the public representation of history quickly becomes a locus of controversy and ideological struggle. Remembering the Occupation in French Film explores French identity as it is articulated through cultural representations of Occupied France in French film. This work shows how French film has allowed for a public airing of current concerns through the lens of memory’s recreations of the Occupation. By focusing on the representation of women as the symbol of a collective identity crisis, the author links France’s traditional female icon, Marianne, to the multiple unresolved ambiguities that have continued to plague France’s historical reckoning with the war.