European 'films of voyage' : nation, boundaries and identity
This thesis is concerned with the investigation of how the tradition of European 'films of voyage' articulates themes of national identity in relation to questions of boundaries and cultural diversity in the European context. This work begins with an examination of literature on the nation and nationalism vis-à-vis questions of cultural diversity. This is achieved by exploring both the 'modernist' and 'post-modernist' trends which provide useful concepts and guidance for investigating national identity as a form of collective affiliation. It is argued that national identity has to be understood in terms of the relatively stable cultural boundaries that distinguish between 'us' and 'them'. This research goes on to explore the distinctive features of the European film of voyage' which developed within the post-war period. In this context, two sub-narratives are identified and examined: 'aimless journeys' and 'journeys-quests'. The specific films examined are fourteen 'films of voyage' produced in several national contexts encompassing almost fifty years. Three case studies are conducted for a closer analysis of a group of six films relating to three specific national contexts (i.e. the German, the Portuguese, and the Greek vis-à-vis the Balkan space). This aims to relate a detailed analysis of textually described elements to their historical and cultural contexts.