Cinematic reverberations of historical trauma : women's memories of the Holocaust and colonialism in contemporary French-language cinema / by Adela A. Lechintan
- Ann Arbor, MI : ProQuest, 
Includes bibliographical references (pages 175-193)
This dissertation analyzes the women’s retelling of history in French-language cinema during the last thirty years. It explores artistic creations by Chantal Akerman, Karin Albou, Martine Dugowson, Yamina Benguigui, Géraldine Nakache, and Hervé Mimran which draw on the memory of the Holocaust or colonialism and reveal how the repressed memories of deportation and colonization concurrently reverberate through generations. These filmmakers also show how the intergenerational transmission of trauma causes dislocations of already internalized images of the past and how women’s coping with historical trauma engenders women’s questioning of their own position in society and contributes to their identity formation.Using Michael Rothberg’s theory of multidirectional memory as a point of theoretical departure, my dissertation demonstrates how these artistic creations encourage the remembering of the Holocaust simultaneously with the recollection of colonialism as memories that intersect, enlighten each other, and facilitate intercultural communication. Adopting feminist film theory, I investigate how the six filmmakers assign a central role to personal and collective histories in their works while examining the status of women as agents in making and writing history. I suggest that, by re-appropriating hegemonic discourses, women bring new perspectives, such as gender and ethnicity, to the rewriting of history and that by retrieving images from the past, they gain agency. My research also reveals innovative cinematic and writing styles created by these film directors in order to represent female subjectivity and desire as tropes through which tensions between past and present are expressed and new spaces for multicultural identity negotiation are constructed.
Record last modified: 2018-05-18 16:20:00
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