finalpaper280 - C.J Gorrell CMLT 280 National Identity in...

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C.J. Gorrell CMLT 280 National Identity in Cinema The films “Persepolis” and “The Cup” are two excellent examples of national cinema. Both films successfully present a view into the respective cultures they are based upon. What is noteworthy about these two films is that the films are based in a nation of which the directors are currently not living in. We traditionally define national identity as the summation of the culture, history, politics, etc. of a nation to illustrate that nation. The national identities of these two films are not as clearly defined in these two cases as they are in traditional national cinemas, but instead they require us to acknowledge a transnational identity that considers how in an increasingly globalized world we can formulate identities that are not bound to the borders of a single nation. The film “Persepolis” has a continuing theme in which the main character, Satrapi, is in a constant struggle to find her identity. As Satrapi matures her search for an identity becomes a struggle to find a national identity, rather than a personal identity within her home culture. This identity complex she has became most prominent when she traveled to Austria. During this period of Satrapi’s life as depicted in the film, Satrapi finds life, as an Iranian in a French culture, to be very complex. Westerners often consider the Iranians to be savages, and to avoid these difficulties, Satrapi tried to adopt a French identity to better fit in to the European culture. However, she eventually gained a feeling of displacement as her new identity lacked some of the core values she has become accustomed to. 1 Some of these values include strong family connections, and a 1 P rasch, Tom "Persepolis (2007)." 38.2 (2008): 64. Film & Television Literature Index with Full Text . EBSCO. Web. 1 Dec. 2009.
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sense of respect and humility. Throughout her time in Austria she constantly struggled to fit in while retaining the values of her Iranian identity that are most important to her. At this point we can no longer consider Satrapi to still be of a single nationality and therefore she has a dual or split identity. This leads to a contradiction in our traditional definition of national identity in which only a single culture is defined. The film itself also presents a contradiction to our definition. Do we define this film to be an Iranian film, or do we define it to be a French film? The majority of the film is based in Iran, it considers the history, culture, and politics of Iran during the time of Satrapi’s youth,
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finalpaper280 - C.J Gorrell CMLT 280 National Identity in...

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