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  • Author or Editor: Matilda Mroz x
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Recent environmental turns in research on the Holocaust and the moving images produced in its aftermath have suggested the potential of earth to bear “eco-witness” to atrocity and signal sites of mass burial through alterations to the topsoil and vegetation. However, the conjunction between the elemental and the human that occurs when a violated body decomposes in the earth to become ‘humus’ indicates a particularly distressing point of “trouble” for non-anthropocentric frameworks that focus on the material agencies involved in composting processes (Haraway) and trans-corporealities (Alaimo). This article examines how three documentaries (Shtetl, Neighbours and Birthplace) frame sections of Polish earth that have been re-shaped by Holocaust atrocity and human decomposition. While indicating a vaster posthumous network in which humus becomes entangled in rural soil-based activities such as cattle grazing, the article argues that human decomposition triggers attempts to cinematically recompose active earth as readable archive and fixed landscape.

Open Access
In: Studies in World Cinema
In: Studies in World Cinema
In: Studies in World Cinema