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    Beyond a carnival of zombies: the economic problem of 'aliveness' in Laurent Cantet's 'Vers le Sud'

    Asibong, Andrew (2019) Beyond a carnival of zombies: the economic problem of 'aliveness' in Laurent Cantet's 'Vers le Sud'. Studies in French Cinema 19 (4), pp. 279-293. ISSN 1471-5880.

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    Laurent Cantet’s film Vers le sud (2005), based on three short stories by the Haitian-Canadian author Dany Laferrière, explores the problems of ‘aliveness’ and ‘deadness’, both physical and psychical, questioning the systemic and emotional methods by which these states become racialised and concomitantly commodified. Central to the film’s living potency is the acuity of its politicised analysis: from start to finish, Vers le sud shines an unswerving spotlight on the simultaneous precariousness and over-exposure of certain kinds of Black (in this case poor Haitian adolescents’ and children’s) lives. The film’s politics, grounded in a lucid presentation of the material and ideological conditions of racialised inequality on which neo-colonial, neo-liberal (and, in this case, sexualised) tourism takes place, are combined with a specifically cinematic critique of the gaze of the wealthy, White female subject who buys the power not only to look at this life, but also, vampirically, to ingest its perceived qualities of vitality. Politics and aesthetics come together in the film to deconstruct a set of (frequently masked and insidious) operations formed at the disavowed crossroads of capitalist, racist and child-abusing phantasies of corporeal and emotional appropriation.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Andrew Asibong
    Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2017 11:08
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:42


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