France, Film, and the Holocaust: From genocide to shoah

Overview

When confronted with a historical event of the tragic magnitude of the Holocaust, cinema with its inherently representational nature has often been found lacking. The proliferation of Holocaust films, especially in France, testifies that filmmakers appear stubbornly immune to representational moratoria making film's relationship with the Holocaust a profoundly engaged and complex one. This book explores the relationship between film and the Holocaust in France: how has film changed the way that this traumatic ...

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Overview

When confronted with a historical event of the tragic magnitude of the Holocaust, cinema with its inherently representational nature has often been found lacking. The proliferation of Holocaust films, especially in France, testifies that filmmakers appear stubbornly immune to representational moratoria making film's relationship with the Holocaust a profoundly engaged and complex one. This book explores the relationship between film and the Holocaust in France: how has film changed the way that this traumatic event has been inscribed in French cultural memory? And what can these representations tell us about how we think of and understand the traumas of history?

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ferzina Banaji is project director for the BBC World Service Trust, an organization that works to promote media uses in the development field. She was previously a post-doctoral research fellow at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, affiliated to the Department of French. Her research on twentieth and twenty-first century French literature, philosophy and visual culture has been published in a number of journals and edited volumes. She held a Visiting Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC and a visiting lectureship at the University of Nottingham. She is presently based in New Delhi, India where she also writes for mainstream, broadsheet publications.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Representing the "Unrepresentable" 1

Introduction 1

Film 9

France and Film 15

France, Film, and the Holocaust 19

2 Resistance and Repression, 1940-1960 25

Introduction 25

Film during the Occupation 26

Liberation and the Postwar Era 36

Alain Resnais's Nuit et brouillard (1955) 46

3 Revisiting Collaboration: Vichy and the Holocaust, 1960-1980 53

Introduction 53

The 1960s 54

Le Chagrin et la pitié (1969) 64

La mode rétro and the 1970s Shift 70

The Rise of the Holocaust in Global Memory 82

4 From Lanzmann's Shoah to la Shoah, 1980-2000 87

Introduction 87

Mixed Narratives of the Early 1980s 90

Shoah (1985) 93

The Shoah after Shoah: History, Politics, and the Visual Text 101

Klaus Barbie and Ophüls's Hôtel Terminus (1987) 109

The War for Memory 114

The Holocaust at the End of the Century 127

5 The "Century of Genocide" and beyond, 2000- 133

Introduction 133

The Holocaust in France: Survival as Resistance 134

Resistance and the Last Call to Action 147

Conclusion 159

Notes 161

Bibliography 177

Film Index 185

Index 189

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