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Rethinking Testimonial Cinema in Postdictatorship Argentina

Beyond Memory Fatigue

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Rethinking Testimonial Cinema in Postdictatorship Argentina by Veronica Garibotto
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Description

For roughly two decades after the collapse of the military regime in 1983, testimonial narrative was viewed and received as a privileged genre in Argentina. Today, however, academics and public intellectuals are experiencing "memory fatigue," a backlash against the concepts of memory and trauma, just as memory and testimonial films have reached the center of Argentinian public discourse. In Rethinking Testimonial Cinema in Postdictatorship Argentina, Veronica Garibotto looks at the causes for this reticence and argues that, rather than discarding memory texts for their repetitive excess, it is necessary to acknowledge them and their exhaustion as discourses of the present. By critically examining how trauma theory and subaltern studies have previously been applied to testimonial cinema, Garibotto rereads Argentinian films produced since 1983 and calls for an alternate interpretive framework at the intersection of semiotics, theories of affect, scholarship on hegemony, and the ideological uses of documentary and fiction. She argues that recurrent concepts-such as trauma, mourning, memory, and subalternity-miss how testimonial films have changed over time, shifting from subaltern narratives to official, hegemonic, and iconic accounts. Her work highlights the urgent need to continue to study these types of narratives, particularly at a time when military dictatorships have become entrenched in Latin America and memory narratives proliferate worldwide. Although Argentina is Garibotto's focus, her theory can be adapted to other contexts in which narratives about recent political conflicts have shifted from alternative versions of history to official, hegemonic accounts-such as in Spanish, Chilean, Uruguayan, Brazilian, South African, and Holocaust testimonies. Garibotto's study of testimonial cinema moves us to pursue a broader ideological analysis of the links between film and historical representation.

Author Biography

Veronica Garibotto is Associate Professor of Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Kansas. She is the author of Crisis y reemergencia: el siglo XIX en la ficcion contemporanea de Argentina, Chile y Uruguay and editor (with Jorge Perez) of The Latin American Road Movie.
Release date NZ
March 1st, 2019
Pages
272
Illustrations
9 Illustrations, black and white
Country of Publication
United States
Imprint
Indiana University Press
ISBN-13
9780253038517
Product ID
28145096

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