Vol.6, No.2 | [Book Review] Algerian National Cinema




The first book on Algerian cinema to be published in English since the 1970s, Algerian National Cinema provides a much needed corrective to this dearth of scholarly attention. The title of Guy Austin’s monograph immediately suggests an intention to weigh in on such alignments of film, nation, historical experience and identity. Austin explains the rationale for his opting for a national-cinema paradigm with reference to Higbee’s contention that transnational approaches in film studies are ‘not specific enough or sufficiently politically engaged’ (Higbee, quoted in Preface, p. viii): thus, a ‘focus on the national can allow a critique of nationalist ideology, and so can illuminate the ways in which the official mythologizing of a national culture at the “centre” of the postcolonial state has marginalised the diverse identities within the nation’ (p. iii).