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Far-Flung Families in Film

The Diasporic Family in Contemporary European Cinema

Daniela Berghahn

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An in-depth critical exploration of cinematic representations of the family in transnational cinema

In the age of globalisation, diasporic and other types of transnational family are increasingly represented in films such as East is East, Le Grand Voyage, Almanya – Welcome to Germany, Immigrant Memories, Couscous, When We Leave, Monsoon Wedding and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. While there is a significant body of scholarship on the representation of the family in Hollywood cinema, this is the first book to analyse the depiction of Black and Asian British, Maghrebi French and Turkish German families from a comparative transnational perspective.

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List of Illustrations
1 Family Matters in Diaspora
2 Families in Motion
3 Family Memories, Family Secrets
4 Gender, Generation and the Production of Locality in the Diasporic Family
5 Romance and Weddings in Diaspora

About the Author

Daniela Berghahn is Professor of Film Studies in the Media Arts Department at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has extensively published on German and transnational European cinema. Her publications include Unity and Diversity in the New Europe (co-edited, 2000), Hollywood Behind the Wall: The Cinema of East Germany (2005), Turkish-German Dialogues on Screen (special issue New Cinemas, 2009) and European Cinema in Motion: Migrant and Diasporic Film in Contemporary Europe (co-edited, 2010).


‘Daniela Berghahn exhibits here her characteristic ability to provide an overview of a large and complicated topic with clarity, theoretical insight, and scholarly erudition. In five chapters plus an introduction, Berghahn discusses the development of a genre that is interconnected with the history of labor migration, asylum, and exile…Its multilingual bibliography is itself an excellent tool to foster transnational and truly European models of research. The clarity of writing style and the breadth of the discussion make it appropriate for multiple levels, including the undergraduate classroom.’

- Randall Halle, Monatshefte

‘The beautifully illustrated Far-Flung Families in Film is a milestone in the study of diasporic film and ‘accented cinema’ (Hamid Naficy), and it also marks a particularly original and much-needed contribution to transnational cinema studies. I would warmly recommend Daniela Berghahn’s book to scholars, students, makers, promoters and critics of film as well as to learned cinema-goers.’

- Márta Minier, University of South Wales, Transnational Cinemas

‘Berghahn’s monograph offers a valuable contribution to the field of transnational European film studies. Furthermore, having enjoyed the resources offered by an AHRC grant, it benefits from a very useful companion website ( that offers additional material on the films discussed, as well as related podcasts and information. This not only facilitates further its pedagogic use, but also allows it to circulate even more widely and transnationally than the book itself, potentially having an impact not only on further academic studies of diasporic cinema but also on the filmmaking community itself, inspiring the production and circulation of ever more films that address crosscultural themes and issues.’

- Lydia Papadimitriou, Screen, 562 Summer 2015

‘Berghahn’s engaging style, the range of her material and the depth of analysis make this a refreshing contribution to the field. This is a fascinating and timely volume which will appeal to academics, but ought also to reach a wider audience interested in contemporary cinema.’

- Alexandra Lloyd, University of Oxford, Journal of Contemporary European Studies