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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Cinema, Glamour, Atrocity': Narratives of Trauma
Author:Marx, LesleyISNI
Year:2006
Periodical:Social Dynamics
Volume:32
Issue:2
Pages:22-49
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:cinema
torture
victims
offenders
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Architecture and the Arts
History and Exploration
Education and Oral Traditions
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02533950608628726
Abstract:Cinematic treatments of trauma have to confront the challenge that every aesthetic choice is also an ethical one. This challenge poses special problems for questions of truth and the representation of victims and perpetrators. Three documentaries made by Mark Kaplan (1996-2004) explore the history of South African student activist Siphiwo Mtimkulu, tortured and murdered by security policemen in the early 1980s, and the subsequent interaction between Gideon Nieuwoudt, one of the perpetrators, and the Mtimkulu family during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings. Ian Gabriel's fiction film 'Forgiveness' (2004) uses key aspects of this history in his treatment of a repentant perpetrator seeking forgiveness from his victim's family. In analysing these films, the present author argues that respect for a realist aesthetic, the notion that the camera can and does reveal the world to us, may be combined with self-reflexivity, narrative layering and generic innovation to produce a complex representation of truth, victim and perpetrator. Furthermore, the initial choice of subject will determine to some extent the degree of complexity with which issues of truth, on the one hand, and the nature of the victim and the perpetrator, on the other, will be developed. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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