French National Consciousness after World War II. Affirmation and Subversion in Jacques Tati’s Jour de Fete
Initially Jacques Tati’s first feature film could not find a distributor. Then in 1949 it became one of the most successful films in postwar France. Revised editions appeared in 1961 and 1995. This article analyses the film’s representation of France’s struggle for national pride based on its central aspects: traditional life in the countryside, the protagonist, postman François, and the flagpole with the tricolour. Looking at the production company’s advertising strategy and reviews of the film in the contemporary press the author shows how Tati’s light-hearted, self-ironic approach did not match the common taste. The film’s revised editions further changed its message.