Foreign Language Film Conference VII

"The Great War: Illusions and Disillusions"

University of Alabama at Birmingham

30 October - 1 November 2014

August 2014 marks 100 years since the beginning of World War One. To commemorate this landmark, the seventh edition of Foreign Language Film Conference will be held at UAB at the new Abroms Engel Building October 30-November 1, 2014. All of the lectures will take place at the AEIVA Hesse Family Lecture Hall. This conference of movie scholars will examine how each country and each era portrays the war in films with the theme "The Great War: Illusions and Disillusions." Taking place twenty years after the birth of cinema, the Great War was the first conflict to have elicited so many films whether documentaries or features. "Illusions and Disillusions" is the leitmotif of hundreds of films produced all over the world about "The Last War" which took over 10 million lives and involved dozen of nations. Not only did the movies depict how soldiers lived and died in the trenches, but also how the conflict engaged other troops from the colonial empires of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. With the destruction of the working classes from both sides, this participation to the war effort of the colonizers is considered one of the worst exploitations. The fraternity of the trenches brought Illusions during the war and disillusions after the war. Among the many questions addressed at the conference is to understand how different eras represented the war in films, first as heroes then as victims, and how the conflict led to the tumultuous years afterwards and yet another World War. The keynote speaker of the conference is Dr. Laurent Veray from the University of Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle. The title of his talk is: "Representations of The Great War in Cinema."

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Laurent Veray is a film historian, specializing in the period of 1914-1918. He is the author of The Great War in Films: From Glory to Memory (2008 Edition Ramsay). He is currently completing a book on representations of history in archival footage: Faced with Archive Footage, Between History, Fiction and Documentary (Editions CNDP). Dr. Veray directed three films about World War I: Heroic Cinema (2003), The Somme (2006), and The Scar, A French Family during WWI (2014).

Film Screenings

Heroic Cinema will premiere in America at UAB on Thursday, October 30, 2014, at 6:30 pm at the UAB Hulsey Recital Hall. Free and open to the public.

The Scar will premiere in America at UAB on Friday, October 31, 2014, at 6:30 pm at the UAB Hulsey Recital Hall. Free and open to the public.

All the lectures, featuring American and European scholars, are free and open to the Public.

Conference Sponsors

  • UAB Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • UAB College of Arts and Sciences
  • UAB Provost Office
  • UAB Department of History
  • The Alliance Française of Birmingham

For more information call 934-4652 or 329-1706.
View Conference Program