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From Europe with Pride: Heritage, Community and Queer Moves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalOpen Library of Humanities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019

King's Authors


This paper takes Pride (2014) as a focal point for a discussion of a popular European cinema that looks back on key moments in the twentieth-century political past(s) through the re-enactment of queer scenarios of activism and resistance. My contention is that, as significant as identity politics is the notion of movement itself. Pride’s intersectional retro-politics injects queer moves into heritage cinema, literally including musical moments of (camp) dance and song that dislodge characters from constraining social spaces and sedimented subjectivities. I look at Pride alongside other examples of new heritage filmmaking through their use of the movement-image (Deleuze) to retrieve the memory of political moments in history through queer moves. Encounters set to music underscore the road trip of a Swiss feminist journalist and her team of radio broadcasters adrift in the Portuguese Carnation Revolution in Les Grandes Ondes (à l’ouest)/Longwave (2013); out-of-step punk musical performances punctuate a queer coming-of-age girl narrative set in the 1980s in El Calentito (2005); dance scenes of queer female eroticism derail heteronormative trajectories of marriage and family in Anni felici/Those Happy Years (2013) and La Belle saison/Summertime (2015), two stories that intersect with the international women’s liberation movement in the 1970s. These films suggest a European heritage cinema as interzone (Randall Halle, 2014). I explore the ways in which these films eschew nostalgia via the stress on movement, queer performativity and the possibility of (not yet formed) communities. By retrieving Pride in (and for) a broader European cinematic context, this paper makes a move towards a reading of the film’s intersectional politics as a timely response to the incompleteness of the European social project of integration.

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