From homofraternity to hospitality: deconstructing the political with Derrida and the Dardennes

Laura McMahon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article stages an encounter between the work of contemporary Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne and the thinking of the political elaborated by Jacques Derrida. In La Promesse (1996) and Le Fils (2002) the Dardennes explore issues of responsibility, justice, hospitality, and forgiveness, tracing fragile modes of relationality formed on the ruins of the paternal–filial bond. The article argues that Derrida's interrogation of the homofraternal logic underpinning democracy, and his attendant recasting of the political in terms of the promise, the incalculable, the spectral, and the démocratie à venir, offers a fertile framework for reading the deconstruction of the political in these two films and for thinking through the moves made here by cinema beyond the present, beyond ontology, and beyond identification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-524
Number of pages15
JournalFrench Studies
Volume66
Issue number4
Early online date27 Aug 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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