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New On DVD: "The Blacks Of France From 1889 To Our Days - 130 Years Of Shared History"

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 23, 2012 6:12 PM
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I'd love to check this out, and hope it heads west with English subtitles... :)

It's a 3-part documentary (3 hours total) that aired on French television earlier this month, titled Noirs de France: De 1889 à nos jours: une histoire de France (or in English The Blacks of France From 1889 to our days - 130 years of shared history).

The title should tell you all you need to know about the film's content, but here's a full synop:

From 1889 to our days - 130 years of shared history - this three-part documentary film weaves together many archives and new testimonies to tell us about contemporary French black history over 130 years. This film gives a voice to both the protagonists and the heirs of this history and relays the building of a French Black identity. An old history, a presence which becomes visible with the 1889 World's Fair. A story which goes through two World wars, the colonial period, the Independencies, and the time of the migrations from the West Indies and Africa, but also from the Indian Ocean, New Caledonia, and from the African American influence since the Interwar period.

As already noted, it aired in 3 parts in France earlier this month, and was released on DVD on the 20th, 3 days ago, but only in France as far as I know.

I couldn't locate any English-language versions of the film, or the trailer which I embedded below.

But I assume some of our readers in France watched the 3-parter on TV, or may have even already purchased the DVD; if so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the material.

I'm wondering if there's a similar aversion to works like this as we here in the states have to programs like CNN's Black In America series; although Noirs de France seems to be much more comprehensive and historical, and doesn't necessarily solely focus on the *problems* blacks in France face, but, as the title suggests, a history of that particular group of people in that country, through the present-day. 

We've repeatedly written about the black experience in parts of Europe (although from a limited POV), and have covered many black French films here as well, so, like I said, I'm certainly interested.

Watch the trailer below (but again, it's in French and not subtitled; h/t Afro Europe blog):


NOIRS DE FRANCE (Bande annonce) by Phares-Balises

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1 Comment

  • Fiona19 | February 24, 2012 5:23 AMReply

    They should have English subtitles because we talking also about the African Americans (athletes, artists and soldiers).
    Sorry for my English

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