Chronic Trauma, the Sound of Terror, and Current Israeli Cinema


Morag, Raya. 2008. “Chronic Trauma, the Sound of Terror, and Current Israeli Cinema”. Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media 49 (1 (SPRING 2008) : 121-133.


Representation of the trauma of suicide attacks in Israeli fictional cinema during the height of the Second Intifadah (2000-2004) is blocked by both the repression of the trauma and by collectivization of personal memory. That is, by anti-memory. In contrast, the new genre of short-short films of the tele-cinema project Moments provides a befitting response to the time-trap of chronic traumatic temporality by representing its sudden-ness, irreversibility, uncanny presentification, arbitrariness and negative circularity. The unequaled temporality of the attack is realized mainly through the three-minute format, the before/after [if] structure which subverts the Freudian Nachträglichkeit, and audial representation. The posttraumatic short-short cinema of the Second Intifadah responds to the perception of time as cultural and culture-dependent. In doing so, Moments proves that only bi-temporality and the cinematic psycho-acoustics of the terror attack might enhance the Israelis’ confrontation with conservative political orientations via the trauma. In other words, Moments contests Israeli discourse focusing on Jewish victimhood, denying the heavy price of occupation, and the hegemonization of victory. Through its unique format, it operates to advance acknowledgment of the trauma of terror attacks, and therefore, post-traumatic memory.

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Last updated on 05/23/2018