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La Fête nationale (Bastille Day) Plans?

(The following is a post by Erika Hope Spencer, Reference Specialist for France in the Latin American, Caribbean and European Division)

woman with arms raised in front of the French flag

Crepaux, F. A., artist. Vive la France! 1918. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Today is the French national holiday known as Bastille Day in the United States. The French call it le 14 juillet or la  Fête nationale. Celebrations will be held worldwide to mark this anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille — a Paris prison that housed political prisoners prior to the French Revolution of 1789.  Why not celebrate this historic day by watching some Francophone Films, reading up on  Women in the French Revolution or doing some Reading in French? The Library has a variety of research guides on France, and the latest provides links to selected films in the Library’s catalog as well as print and digital resources about Francophone film. Please click on the image below to explore. 

image of research guide

French & Francophone Film: A Research Guide, Latin, American, Caribbean and European Division

The Library of Congress’ collection features several hundred Francophone (French-language) films, ranging from early silent films by the Lumière Brothers to narrative feature-length films of the sound era, including works by directors such as Jean Renoir, Chantal Akerman, François Truffaut, Sembène Ousmane, Claire Denis, and Denis Villeneuve. The Library’s Francophone film collection includes movies not only from France but also from Belgium, Senegal, Canada, Cambodia, Algeria, Haiti, and more, providing a wide variety of perspectives and examples of filmic techniques from around the world.

Napierkowska. 1910-1915. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

One of the strengths of the Library’s collection is the availability of materials in both English and French. Noteworthy resources include: A group of silent shorts produced in 1903-04 by the innovative George Méliès, included in the Paper Print Collection of films registered for U.S. copyright protection between 1894 and 1915; documentary recordings featuring notables such as Sarah Bernhardt and Charles de Gaulle; and recordings of North American French speakers and performers, such as documentaries of the Acadian community in northern Maine. The France in America Collection presents digitized items from the Library of Congress collection originally made available as the France in America digital library project, a part of the Global Gateways initiative.

photogragh of the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France. 1936 or 1937. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Viva la France!  

Additional Resources