• Forensic Memory, Responsibility, and Judgment: The Chilean Documentary in the Postauthoritarian Era.

    Walescka Pino-Ojeda (see profile)
    Latin America and the Caribbean
    Motion pictures--Social aspects, Latin America, Area studies
    Item Type:
    Banality of thought, Chile, documentary films, Film and society, Latin American studies
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    Among the political documentaries produced in Chile in the postauthoritarian era there is a significant corpus of films that carry out a meticulous process of forensic memory. Both documentaries that dig through skeletal remains and those that excavate the memories of surviving victims or witnesses of state terror are carrying out similar archaeological forensic work. They examine records that, rather than simply evidencing past violence, exhibit the fractures (subjective and discursive) from which the past may be reconstructed. By focusing on these tasks the films La ciudad de los fotógrafos (Sebastián Moreno, 2007), El juez y el general (Elizabeth Farnsworth and Patricio Lanfranco, 2008), and El diario de Agustín (Ignacio Agüero, 2008) become media for reflection that makes it possible for viewers to confront their own history—in order to make ethical judgments that allow them to assume personal and collective responsibility in the face of a history that they have lived or have assimilated through a process of “post-memory.” To the question posed by Arendt— whether thinking can help to correct and eradicate acts of radical evil—we could respond that postauthoritarian Chilean documentary finds itself dealing precisely with this possibility through accounts that, by means of personal experience and sifting through one’s own biographical ruins, call on spectators to delve into their own fears and complicities.
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    6 years ago
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