Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Major Professor

Amy Rust


Film, France, Memory, Transgression, Violence


New French Extremity films are violent, transgressive, and break many social taboos in their narratives. However, this genre's directors are intelligent and construct these films with clues to France's past and how it still has implications in the present. This thesis was written to point out how New French Extremity films offer spectators the potential to reincorporate traumatic moments in French history by juxtaposing them against present day social, political, and economic ideologies. The purpose for this course of study was to investigate historical encounters that are present in New French Extremity filmmaking, something that has yet to be addressed by other scholars in any great detail. The general approach taken was to use Walter Benjamin's theory of allegory to secure connections between the past and present and illustrate how they could be interpreted by the film's spectators. The outcome of this research indicates how a spectator can potentially change his or her relationship with history and work towards reassessing his or her relationship with the present under certain social, political, or economic structures.