This is a ground-breaking comparative treatment of cinematic images of atrocity, combining critical perspectives on contemporary film and human rights. A few days after 9/11, US Vice-President Dick Cheney invoked the need for the USA to work 'the dark side' in its global 'War on Terror'. Cinema of the Dark Side explores how contemporary cinema treats state-sponsored atrocity, evoking multiple landscapes of state terror. Investigating the ethical potential of cinematic atrocity images, this book argues that while films help to create and confirm normative perceptions about atrocities, they can also disrupt those perceptions and build alternatives. Asserting a crucial distinction between morality and ethics, a new conceptualisation of human rights cinema is proposed, one that repositions human rights morality within an ethical framework that reflects upon the causes and contexts of violence. It builds upon theories of embodied spectatorship to offer a new perspective on the ethics of spectatorship, providing readers with fresh insights into how we respond to atrocity images and the ethical issues at stake.
Covering a diverse spectrum of 21st century cinema, this books deals with documentary or fictional representations of atrocity such as state-sanctioned torture, genocide, enforced disappearance, deportation, and apartheid. Close analysis of contemporary films includes Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Standard Operating Procedure (2008), Hotel Rwanda (2004), Sometimes in April (2005), Nostalgia for the Light (2010), Chronicle of an Escape (2006), Children of Men (2006), District 9 (2009), Waltz With Bashir (2008), and Paradise Now (2005). It is a valuable resource for advanced students and researchers in Film Studies and Human Rights alike.
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press