Elokuva, historia ja ruumiin muisti

Film, history and the memory of the body

The article discusses representations of traumatic historical events. The central argument put forward is that because of its ability to express bodily gestures, the film is a special medium for the expression of such suffering that is related to a certain kind of conflict, namely the kind of suffering that Jean-François Lyotard has described as being based on a feeling of the differend. This will be shown in a detailed analysis of Claude Lanzmann's film Shoah, in which the bodily gestures, songs and places have a special role in activating the bodily remembrance of the traumatic history of the holocaust. The relationship of body and traumatic past is further analysed through an analysis of memory and traumatic events, whereupon it can be seen how the film can be interpreted as an approach to involuntary memory.

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