As the arrival of migrants on French and European shores is once again hitting the headlines, the history of France of the past two centuries reveals that immigration played a central role.
In the 1920s, France had become the first country of immigration in the world, before the United States. Today, nearly 20 million French - more than a quarter of the French population - trace their roots back to places outside the national territory. A fact that should give a new meaning to the definition of “nation”, taking into account the reality of the world today.
Our "Stories of a Nation" are those of generations who came to make a new life in France. 150 years of the history of France told by the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the women and men for whom becoming French had been a defining moment in their personal history. Their stories are shedding light on how their forebears were welcomed and how the French republic gradually redefined its laws on nationality.
Episode 1: 1870-1927: Arriving in a New Land
Episode 2: 1927-1954: Caught up in the Turmoil
Episode 3: 1954-1974: Our Fathers' Glory
Episode 4: 1973-2005: A Story of Generations
Direction: Françoise Davisse, Yann Coquart & Carl Aderhold
Production: Point du Jour for France Télévisions