Migrant Children and the ‘Space Between’ in the Films of Angelopoulos

Donald, Stephanie (2020) Migrant Children and the ‘Space Between’ in the Films of Angelopoulos. In: The Oxford Handbook of Children's Film. Oxford University Press, Oxford / New York. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

Childhood is a category of difference within sameness, a form of being that is intrinsic to all human life, and yet which, simultaneously, is unavailable to adult humans. In the context of global migrations, childhood occupies an even more ethereal space of belonging and exclusion. This chapter advances earlier work on Angelopoulos, and follows the example of many other scholars working on the great auteur. His death in 2011 notwithstanding, Angelopoulos’ work still resonates with ongoing twenty-first century historical conditions and it is that resonance I wish to explore here, particularly in relation to his achievements in representing the experience of migration and childhood. The child migrant’s journey through actual and imaginary borders – of innocence and knowledge, security and alienation – epitomises the transience of childhood itself, within which there must always be accumulation of understanding and preparation for survival amongst adults. In this discussion, I argue that through Angelopoulos’ use of what French cinematography terms l’intervalle, or ‘space between’, he visualises both the negative impact of migration on the collective (generally the family) and simultaneously the ways in which children attempt to reformulate mores of belonging to contingent units of identity and emotional comfort. I do not claim that the filmmaker was making (or indeed should have been making) a scientific argument about the damage of the dislocations of intimacy. I do, however, suggest that looking at his work with current and recent tragedies in mind allows insight into how children may act on their own behalf, and how filmmakers may imagine their contributions against the odds they face.

Keywords:l'intervalle, space between in film, child migrants, emotional contingency, Greek cinema
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
Divisions:College of Arts
ID Code:37946
Deposited On:23 Oct 2019 09:03

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