Surviving Images Cinema, War, and Cultural Memory in the Middle East

Review :

Brilliant essays about cinematic recreations of social traumas, whether of colonial conquest, of post-colonial repression, of civil wars, of occupation, of massacres, or of being a willing participant of these. The author claims that cinema was a dominant means of expression during the 20th century and as such contributed much to the ways people saw and interpreted their experiences. He also claims that cinema was affected by the nature of such experiences and points out that unresolved conflicts (Israel/Palestine) were a basis to a very different cinema than the one depicting conflicts perceived as already resolved. The resolution is, though, constantly challenged, as the author shows depicting cinematic reactions to the status of female participants in nationalist struggle in Egypt or to the Iran-Iraq war's memory in Iran.
The author also reflects on trauma of perpetrators, whether in context of British colonizers in Sudan, depicted as positively masculine even in supposedly anti-colonialist films or in context of Israeli soldiers in Lebanon. The author points out that the one pitfall in this context is taking the side of a sympathetic participant in abuse, while another is creating a competition over traumas. Traumas, as well as the political basis to traumas, require understanding.
The author finishes with a statement that cinema is on its way out as the dominant mode of expression and is replaced by numerous new media technologies.

17 downloads 1241 Views 7.1 MB Size