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May 25 , 2010

Cinematic Homecomings

Exile and Return in Transnational Cinema


The history of cinema charts multiple histories of exile. From the German émigrés in 1930s Hollywood to today's Iranian filmmakers in Europe and the United States, these histories continue to exert a profound influence on the evolution of cinematic narratives and aesthetics. But while the effect of exile and diaspora on film practice has been fruitfully explored from both historical and contemporary perspectives, the issues raised by return, whether literal or metaphorical, have yet to be fully considered.

Cinematic Homecomings expands upon existing studies of transnational cinema by addressing the questions raised by reverse migration and the return home in a variety of historical and national contexts, from postcolonialism to post-Communism. By looking beyond exile, the contributors offer a multidirectional perspective on the relationship between migration, mobility, and transnational cinema. 'Narratives of return' are among the most popular themes of the contemporary cinema of countries ranging from Morocco to Cuba to the Soviet Union. This speaks to both the sociocultural reality of reverse migration and to its significance on the imagination of the nation.

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