As the arrival of migrants on French and European shores is once again hitting the headlines, the history of France of the past two centuries reveals that immigration played a central role. In the 1920s, France had become the first country of immigration in the world, before the United States.
Today, nearly 20 million French - more than a quarter of the French population - trace their roots back to places outside the national territory.
This gripping four-part series on immigration, blends stills and filmed and colourised archives spanning a century and a half with personal testimonies of the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who came to France as refugees or immigrants. With personal testimony from anonymous and famous French citizens, it tells a lively history of France deeply relevant to today.
SCREENING: click on each episode link listed at the botton of this page.
THE FRENCH PRESS:
- "A landmark series" (Ecran total, 12/09/18)
- "A rich story (starting in 1870), which is accurate and precious in this day and age". (Télérama, 05/09/18)
- "This masterful production tells us why more than a quarter of the French population today trace their roots back to places outside France. (Huffington Post, 9/25/18)
- "A profound and necessary viewpoint, particularly as disturbing xenophobic ideas resurface all over Europe. » (L’Humanité, 25/09/18)
1870-1927: Arriving in a New Land (eps. 1)
1927-1954. Caught up in Turmoil (eps. 2)
1954-1973. The Glory of Our Fathers (eps. 3)
1974-2005. A Story of Generations (eps. 4)
Festivals and Awards:
* 2019: Series nominated for “Best Use of Footage in a History Production” at FOCAL Awards, taking place on June 20th at The Troxy in London
* 2019: Eps. 2 "Caught up in Turmoil" selected for best history documentary by 'Magazine Histoire' who selects each year works that honour history.
* 2019: nominated for "Les Trophées du Film Français" (French cinema magazine). Winners are announced on 5 Feb.
* 2019: "Best French TV Documentary 2018", awarded on 28 Jan. by the 'Syndicat Français de la Critique de Cinéma' (French cinema critics' syndicate) in Paris.