Screening Torture: Media Representations of State Terror and Political Domination

Screening Torture: Media Representations of State Terror and Political Domination

by Fabiola Salek
     
 

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Before 9/11, films addressing torture outside of the horror/slasher genre depicted the practice in a variety of forms. In most cases, torture was cast as the act of a desperate and depraved individual, and the viewer was more likely to identify with the victim rather than the torturer. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, scenes of brutality and

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Overview

Before 9/11, films addressing torture outside of the horror/slasher genre depicted the practice in a variety of forms. In most cases, torture was cast as the act of a desperate and depraved individual, and the viewer was more likely to identify with the victim rather than the torturer. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, scenes of brutality and torture in mainstream comedies, dramatic narratives, and action films appear for little other reason than to titillate and delight. In these films, torture is devoid of any redeeming qualities, represented as an exercise in brutal senselessness carried out by authoritarian regimes and institutions.

This volume follows the shift in the representation of torture over the past decade, specifically in documentary, action, and political films. It traces and compares the development of this trend in films from the United States, Europe, China, Latin America, South Africa, and the Middle East. Featuring essays by sociologists, psychologists, historians, journalists, and specialists in film and cultural studies, the collection approaches the representation of torture in film and television from multiple angles and disciplines, connecting its aesthetics and practices to the dynamic of state terror and political domination.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

DigitalIcons - Dr Ruth Kitchen
...adds breath and freshness to the analysis of media representations of state terror and political violence.

European Journal of Communication - Marita Gronnvoll
Thoughtful, insightful, and compelling.... Flynn and Salek have gathered together a collection of essays that will have wide appeal to communication scholars, film scholars and graduate students.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231153591
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
09/11/2012
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Michael Flynn is associate professor of psychology at York College, City University of New York, and associate director of the Center on Terrorism at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is the coeditor, with Charles B. Strozier, of Genocide, War, and Human Survival; Trauma and Self; and The Year 2000: Essays on the End; and, with David C. Brotherton, of Globalizing the Streets: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Youth, Social Control, and Empowerment.

Fabiola F. Salek is the chair of the Department of Foreign Languages, ESL, and Humanities and coordinator of women's studies at York College, City University of New York. She is also a research fellow at the Center on Terrorism at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her research focuses on film and contemporary culture and their relationship to human rights, immigration, gender, and the construction of identity and nationality.

Columbia University Press

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