Laure Murat


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Film and Media Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies


This chapter appears from the book, What’s Queer about Europe: Productive Encounters and Re-enchanting Paradigms, Edited by Mireille Rosello, and Sudeep Dasgupta.

"What’s Queer about Remy, Ratatouille, and French Cuisine?" focuses on Ratatouille (2007), the story of Remy, a rat who becomes a chef. This spectacular animated movie could be read as a coming-out story, where the rat embodies the symbolic lonely gay, refined as an object of disgust, excluded and successful. Ratatouille is also a story about race, species and nationality in contemporary France. In this context, Queer studies is an appropriate tool to address a series of questions to this American reading of "old France" and its stereotypical symbols: is the French kitchen a metaphor of the "melting pot" where immigrants elaborate recipes whose basic principle is precisely to "mix" ingredients? Is the motto "anyone can cook” the culinary equivalent of French universalism, assuming that anyone can become French if they simply adopt French culture as their own?



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