May. 8th, 2012

runespoor: artemis and m'gann, in civilian clothes, laughing (yj | idiot teenagers with a death wish)
My mom made me watch Le Nom des gens (inanely and offensively titled the Names of Love in the US, erasing the cultural/social/political title for romcom - a literal translation would be The Names of People or something like that), and she was right, I should've watched it ages ago.

I spent the first twenty minutes crying, and then started and continued on and off for the whole duration. My mom wasn't much better off. And here's the thing, it's not a drama. It's the story of an Arab-French young woman who is angry at the right/fascists/capitalism/what have you who converts "fascists" to her cause by sleeping with them, and an older white French man whose mother's parents died in Auschwitz, and whose mom consequently spent her whole life passing, and for whose family talking about anything reminiscent of their Jewish heritage is consequently taboo. (she has a lot of things in common with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, if you ignore everything the narrative shows about her story/motivations; he's a strait-laced ornitologist who idolizes the then-leader of the Socialist Party Lionel Jospin.)

It's about their love story, sure, but it's more about their identities, the question of identity in France, and everyday racism. (the names of people, remember?) It's about heritage issues and fascisms and the right/the left.

I get why they wanted to downplay that: if you don't know jack about politics in France during the 2002-2007 period, you're going to be lost. (Wikipedia here, 'cause I'm way too tired to think about how to explain it.) (Lionel Jospin appears in it! this movie is really cool and cute and made me cry lots and lots!)

It's still all about politics and identity. (and idealism and families and a lot more things, some of which problematic, but idgaf.)

Personally, despite my ardent crying, I wasn't triggered, but it contains triggery stuff. Maybe I wasn't triggered because I feel like this movie basically is on my side. They aren't triggers born out of ignorance, arrogance, or ill intent. I know it makes a difference for how I react to stuff, so that's why I'm saying this: it contains things that can be triggery, but it's not dismissive.

I feel weirdly vulnerable talking about it, but at the same time I wanted to.



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