Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Judith Stone

Second Advisor

Dr. Peter Blickle


The influx of ethnically diverse workers into Western Europe after World War II has put immigration and questions of ethnic and national identity on the front lines at both the national and European levels. These topics have become dominant subjects in media, especially in the medium of film. In this paper I will discuss four films that examine issues concerning immigration, integration and ethnic identity in post war Europe. Rainer Werner Fassbindef s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen Seek auf) examines issues concerning the influx of guest workers (Gastarbeiter) from Turkey, North Africa and Eastern Europe into Germany after World War II. Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne's LaPromesse examines illegal immigration in 1990's Belgium through the story of the separation of a young Belgian man from the path of his father. Mathieu Kassovitz's La Haine looks at life inside an ethnically diverse Parisian banlieue (suburb) and the problems associated with being "French" while being ethnically different. Bernardo Bertolucci's Besieged deals with the relationship between an African woman and an English pianist in Rome, exposing both the internal and external cultural and emotional struggles of both characters.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only