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. A fact that should give a new meaning to the definition of “nation”, taking into account the reality of the world today. The typical French has many faces and multiple origins, especially when they win the soccer World Cup!
Our "Stories of a Nation" are those of generations who came to make a new life in France. 150 years of the history of France told by the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the women and men for whom becoming French had been a defining moment in their personal history. Their stories are shedding light on how their forebears were welcomed and how the French republic gradually redefined its laws on nationality.
Our "stories” start with the Third Republic. After the disastrous Battle of Sedan during the Franco-Prussian War and the ensuing 1871 civil war in Paris, the country needed internal and external immigration and thus laid the foundations for a project of integration defining, for the first time, the right to be French…
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: 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.