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In: Sterben und Tod öffentlich gestalten
In: Sterben und Tod öffentlich gestalten
In: Sterben und Tod öffentlich gestalten
In: Sterben und Tod öffentlich gestalten
In: Sterben und Tod öffentlich gestalten
In: Sterben und Tod öffentlich gestalten
In: Sterben und Tod öffentlich gestalten
Author: Dijana Jelača

Abstract

The essay explores how two women filmmakers, each deploying her unique vision through the perspective of a female protagonist, stage a transformative encounter with the act of bearing witness to genocide. The Diary of Diana B. (Dnevnik Diane Budisavljević, 2019, Croatia) directed by Dana Budisavljević, and Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020, Bosnia-Herzegovina), directed by Jasmila Žbanić, both compel us to bear witness to mass atrocities while avoiding the pitfalls of turning suffering into a spectacle, and by sidestepping the predictable cinematic conventions of redemption and closure, both formally and narratively. In my analysis of the films as anti-spectacles through the framework of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s ‘speaking nearby’, I argue for the concept of ‘women’s world cinema’, a kind of cinema that is made by women, speaks to women’s experiences, and/or addresses the spectator as female while also speaking nearby instead of about its subjects in ways that eschew conventional spectatorial alignments and co-optations of traumatic experience.

Open Access
In: Studies in World Cinema