The Living Body and the Corpse—Israeli Documentary Cinema and the Intifadah


Morag, Raya. 2008. “The Living Body and the Corpse—Israeli Documentary Cinema and the Intifadah”. Journal of Film and Video (3-4) : 3-24.


This article offers a reflection on media ethics originating in cinema. Discussing the shift in the politics of the body/corpse as an outcome of the “new” war allows us to compare perspectives towards trauma resulting from suicide attacks in the Israeli documentary No. 17 (as a representative example of an entire corpus), in video recordings taken of suicide bombers before their missions, and in the Palestinian narrative film Paradise Now. Discussing the ethics of the look, the phenomenology of the event of the attack, and the criterion of contamination (our willingness to become contaminated by the corpse as a criterion of accepting the other) the article seeks to distinguish between the discourses oriented towards the other and those which are closed to this comprehension and to these claims. Proposing the body/corpse relationship as a new “materialistic” discourse for discussing trauma also contests the predominance of memory discourse in trauma studies.

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Last updated on 05/23/2018