Performing “le cheval sauvage” in <em>Crin Blanc</em>
Dynamics of filmic representation between humanity and animality
Keywords:Film Studies, Animal Studies, Harvey Sacks, Frans de Waal, French Cinema
Queer theories allow us to denaturalize the boundary between animals and humans by showing it to be a social construct. By applying them to cultural products, it becomes clear how the binary opposition “animality-humanity” actually depends on performativity. Among the many movies featuring animal characters, in this paper I analyze Crin Blanc by Albert Lamorisse (1953), by combining part of Harvey Sacks’ work on Membership Categorisation Analysis, of Carmen Dell’Aversano’s research on animal queer and of Frans de Waal’s studies. I will concentrate on the way in which the performance of animality in the representation of the character of Crin Blanc is handled, in the attempt to demonstrate that Crin Blanc actually strengthens the binary opposition of identity categories and anthropocentric hierarchies. Queer theory will allow us to understand how the repressive nature of the imposition of human categories can operate at different levels of the same human artistic product.
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