A Word From the Editor
This issue addresses race and colonialism from three perspectives. In the Buzz, Charles Rearick examines Roschdy Zem’s 2016 biopic of the Belle Époque clown Chocolat. Rafael Padillo was a Black Cuban immigrant who took Paris by storm by playing the dumb sidekick to his partner George Footit. Things grew more complicated, however, once he tried to escape such stereotyping.
In Maybe Missed, Kelly Duke Bryant reviews Senegalese writer Boubacar Boris Diop’s 2006 novel Kaveena, about an imaginary post-colonial African state. The story of a ruthless dictator and his French “handler” who really calls the shots, she argues, reinforces too many clichés about Africa. However, the events recollected by the former head of security and the fragments from the leader’s autobiography also offer insightful commentaries on power, greed, and violence.
The Classic, Didier Daeninckx’s Meurtres pour mémoire, dates from 1983. Using the detective genre, the author challenges the French to remember the 17 October 1961 massacre of Algerian immigrants which, his investigation reveals, is tied to the internment of Jews at Drancy during the Holocaust. The French authorities had swept these events under the rug, but the “outing” of Papon in 1981 made that untenable.
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