November 4, 2021


Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender
Cowin Auditorium | Horace Mann Hall 147 | Teachers College
Open to Columbia University Community only

Abla, a widow and mother of eight-year-old Warda, runs a popular bakery in the narrow streets of Casablanca's old town. When her routine is interrupted by a knock on the door, she is unaware that her life is about to change forever.

Adam by Maryam Touzani (2019)

On the doorstep stands Samia, a pregnant young woman asking for a place to stay, and, in fact, to deliver her baby. Adam is a bittersweet drama on the fate of single mothers in Morocco, and a tale of intense sisterhood, carried by the exceptional Belgian-Moroccan star actress Lubna Azabal. Coproduced by French and Moroccan production companies and distributed in France, but written and shot in Morocco, Adam is one of the two international films featured in this festival. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Professor Madeleine Dobie.

About the Series

Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender” presents nine fiction films and documentaries that were produced or co-produced in France and have never or rarely been shown in New York. Seven of these are recent films, while the two films that open and close the series are classics. These films take questions of gender identity and sexual orientation head on, through emancipatory explorations and revolutionary projects, often intimately and politically combative, presenting collective portraits and personal biographies as well as character-driven stories.

Mauvais Genres” is an ironic pun on a French expression that can mean “bad kind,” “bad manners,” or “bad impression,” and can also mean “wrong” or “mistaken” gender. It is also a nod to filmmaker Sébastien Lifshitz, whose work is highlighted with three selections in this festival, since he used “Mauvais Genre” in the singular as the title of an exhibition about his work. The heroines and heros of these films defy the identities or destinies of gender or sexual orientation that are assigned to them, whether they’re appearing on self-made clips live streamed on youtube or in a mythological village in the Sahel.

This event is featured as part of the film festival, Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender organized by the Columbia Maison Française and curated by Nora Philippe. Additional support is provided by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Knapp Family Foundation, Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.

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