“I wanted to show who’s behind the hood.”
The Global Perspectives on Society Film Series at NYU Shanghai opened on April 13 with a visually striking documentary about immigrant youth living in an impoverished suburb of Paris.
In this interview, French filmmaker Olivier Babinet discusses with Dr. Fareed Ben-Youssef how Swagger uses spectacle to challenge mass media myths about the Paris banlieue, where he spent two years working with students in the troubled area before deciding to interview them on camera for this film.
Babinet breaks down the structure of specific scenes to show how Swagger subtly responds to ongoing debates in French society regarding terrorism, the police, and the laws of the recent state of emergency.
He also discusses his use of fictionalized elements and his shifts between genres such as science fiction. According to Babinet, science fiction has a power to respond to the political issues of today.
In conclusion, Babinet and Ben-Youssef talked about the impact of the movie and how the NYU Shanghai screening of Swagger resonates with the film’s mission to represent the experiences of youth around the globe.
Swagger had its China premiere screening at NYU Shanghai. Previously, the University hosted the China Film Premiere of The Chinese Exclusion Act where Dr. Fareed Ben-Youssef interviewed directors Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu and historian Renqiu Yu.
The full interview with Olivier Babinet is also available on YouTube.
Academic sponsors for the GPS Film Series are the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, the Office of External and Academic Events, the Program on Creativity + Innovation, the Writing Program, the Center for Global Asia, and the Urban Studies Program.
The screening of Swagger was made possible by the following external sponsors.