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Nike Jung

Political Torture in Contemporary U.S. and Chilean Cinema

Abu Ghraib Art

Documentary Evidence and Fiction Film


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Hello and Welcome!

I recently completed my PhD on

"The (In)visibilities of Torture. Political torture and visual evidence in U.S. and Chilean Fiction Cinema (2004 – 2014)"

supervised by Professor Stella Bruzzi, Department of Film & Television, and Emeritus Professor John King, History Department and the School of Comparative American Studies, University of Warwick, UK.

Moving beyond restricted readings based on identification, I suggest that these films’ heterogeneous aesthetic responses speak to a similar set of epistemological queries, fundamentally related to the truth claims of images. The films explore the uneasy complicity in seeing or watching torture, which concerns both the spectacle of cinema, the nature of torture as well as the position of the audience or witness. Epistemological questions and anxieties about the reliability of visual evidence, increased by current technological changes, culminate in the topic of torture, which demands an ethical stand and trust in historically documented truth. I argue that in a situation of contested, censored or plainly missing documentation, these films produce a “cine-poetic” archive, images that highlight both their constructedness and their roots in the historical real. These films and television shows further offer a public and emotional space to explore subject positions crucial to develop a sense of shared social pain, often missing in official history or dominant narratives. In this way, the films help understand something fundamental about how we relate to our current reality through our images.

These are some of the films and TV shows I am looking at:

NO (P. Larraín, 2012), Post Mortem (P. Larraín, 2010), Tony Manero (P. Larraín, 2008), La Danza de la Realidad (A. Jodorowsky, 2013), Carne de Perro (F. Guzzoni, 2012), Pena de Muerte (T. Díaz, 2012), Nostalgia de la luz (P. Guzmán, 2010), Los 80 (2008-2014, Canal 13), Los Archivos del Cardenal (2011-2014, TVN);

Zero Dark Thirty (K. Bigelow, 2012), Rendition (G. Hood, 2007), Body of Lies (R. Scott, 2008), Homeland (2011-, Showtime), 24 (2001-2010, Fox), Standard Operating Procedure (E. Morris, 2012), Redacted (B. de Palma, 2007); Hatufim/Prisoners of War (2009-2012)..

in memoriam

nikejung AT gmail dot com