The cinema films back: Colonialism, alterity and resistance in Chantal Akerman's La Folie Almayer

Marion Schmid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article appraises Chantal Akerman's La Folie Almayer, freely adapted from Joseph Conrad, as a creative extension of the source text which both moves beyond and converges with the original in its representation of exile, alterity and flawed cultural and racial encounters. Transcending the geo-political and temporal specificities of the novel and embracing a female perspective, Akerman revisits Conrad's interrogation of colonialism from a personal and contemporary vantage point. By crossing the source with other intertexts and fusing fiction with autobiography, she creates a work that productively decentres and creolises the original. Akerman's refusal of fixed identitarian models and her opposition to the narrative conventions of mainstream cinema form a cinematic strategy of resistance concomitant with Conrad's critique of the colonial project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-34
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Journal of French Studies
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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