Volume 12, Issue 2 – May 2022

The Streaming Issue

With this issue of Imaginaries, which we hope will help some of you kick off the summer, we invite you to get comfortable with some binge-worthy, streaming series. Exploring the still-tender relationship between France and the Maghreb is the series Les Sauvages (Savages), in which the fate of the country’s first presidential candidate of Algerian descent collides with a powerful Kabyle family from Saint-Étienne. Maria Vendetti offers a meticulous analysis of the translation into English of the first two volumes of Sabri Louatah’s extremely successful novels and of their adaptation to the small screen. We then go back in time to the Belle Époque, with Venita Datta’s review of Le Bazar de la Charité (The Bonfire of Destiny), whose fanciful approach to historical accuracy, she tells us, might be off putting to those not seduced by the series’ aesthetics and melodrama. Finally, Robin Walz reflects on Lupin, whose international popularity surprised even its star, Omar Sy. Walz traces the path from Arsène Lupin, Maurice Leblanc’s beloved character, to Assane Diop, and breaks down the way the series takes a lucid look at the paradoxical predicament of French Black men: their simultaneous hypervisibility and invisibility.

We hope that these reviews will accompany you as you watch (or re-watch) these series, illuminating their productive engagement with history.