Washington State University La Femme Nikita French Film Essay

The standard essay has a minimum of 7-10 complete sentences. There is no maximum number of sentences, but concise, coherent and complete answers are judged more favorably than overblown, run-on, incoherent, off-topic, or convoluted answers, especially those that use a retelling of the plot to pad the essay. PLEASE read the guidelines for academic writing in your syllabus, as that will tell you specifically what to avoid in all writing assignments, including this exam. PLEASE edit your work for silly spelling, grammatical, and stylistic errors before you submit your exam, as these indicate a certain negligence in your work that factors into the overall appreciation and evaluation of your answers.

The successful essay will include:

A clear introductory statement or two in which you (1) identify the film, director, and date, and (2) encapsulate the main thrust of your argument;
A minimum of 5-6 sentences in which you develop your argument, using only concise references to specific scenes from the film to support the point that you are making (do not retell the scene OR simply reference a scene(s) and expect that to make your point for you);
A minimum of 1-2 sentences in which you conclude and summarize your argument / idea (don’t just repeat your introduction).


In philosophy, “the Absurd” refers to the conflict between (a) the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life, and (b) the human inability to find any. The “Absurd” arises by the contradictory nature of the two existing simultaneously.

Accordingly, absurdism is a philosophical school of thought stating that the efforts of humanity to find inherent meaning will ultimately fail (and hence are absurd) because the sheer amount of information AND the vast realm of the unknown make total certainty impossible. The absurdist philosopher and writer Albert Camus stated that individuals should embrace the absurd condition of human existence while also defiantly continuing to explore and search for meaning.

Using at least ONE of the readings that you have done on Albert Camus, absurdism, existentialism, and/or one of Camus’ works (The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus, et al.), discuss the concept of ABSURDISM as it is developed in any ONE of the films that were assigned this semester, providing at least three main points in your essay with scenes and/or references from the film you chose to support your argument.


THEN ANWSER THE THREE QUESTIONS BELOW (You may NOT write about the same film that you chose for the question above on Absurdism):

1. Provide and discuss at least three examples of foreshadowing in Au Revoir les enfants (Goodbye, Children).

2. Choose TWO characters in Jean de Florette and/or Manon des sources who best represent the theme of the “outsider.” Provide and discuss three scenes to support each of your choices.

3. La Femme Nikita is considered the classic example of the Cinéma du look. Provide and discuss at least three characteristics of this genre of film with specific examples from La Femme Nikita to support your argument AND compare this to the New Wave genre.





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