Cinema in an Age of Terror: North Africa, Victimization, and by Michael F. O'Riley

By Michael F. O'Riley

Cinema in an Age of Terror appears to be like at how cinematic representations of colonial-era victimization tell our knowing of the modern age of terror. via interpreting works representing colonial heritage and the dynamics of spectatorship rising from them, Michael F. O’Riley finds how the centrality of victimization in convinced cinematic representations of colonial historical past might help us know the way the need to occupy the victim’s place is a deadly and blinding force that often performs into the imaginative and prescient of terrorism.
Films resembling The conflict of Algiers, Days of Glory, Caché, and up to date works via Maghrebien filmmakers all exemplify, in numerous methods, how this specialize in victimization can turn into a problematical perspective—one in reality looking to occupy ideological territory. Their go back of colonial historical past to our modern context, even if often complex, allows us to determine how victimization is particularly a lot approximately territory—cultural, spatial, and ideological—and how resistance to new varieties of imperialist struggle and terror at the present time needs to be situated outdoor those haunting photographs from colonial heritage. even supposing such photographs of victimization finally purely go back as wonderful acts that draw our consciousness clear of the cyclical contest over territory that they embrace, these pictures still have the final word. 

Michael F. O’Riley is an affiliate professor of French and Italian at Colorado university. he's the writer of Francophone tradition and the Postcolonial Fascination with Ethnic Crimes and Colonial air of mystery and Postcolonial Haunting and Victimization: Assia Djebar’s New Novels.

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This retrospective gaze directed toward the experience of the occupation has been qualified as a nationalist vision steeped in tones of nostalgia and characterized as a fetishization of national memory. For Rousso and Eric Conan the prominence even of diverse and competing memories of the occupation signals “la sacralisation de la mémoire de la dernière guerre mondiale” (the sacralization of the memory of the last world war) and defines national memory by its “caractère paralysant” (paralyzing character) (44, 21).

The plo, Hamas, and other [Arab] groups are indebted to the Algerian strategy. ” Identifications such as these of a pan-Arab terrorism originating in Algeria suggest a disavowal of Western terrorism in the form of colonial invasion and occupation, not to mention the practices of French torture clearly depicted in Pontecorvo’s film. To characterize common Algerian and Iraqi resistance to Western occupation in their own countries as terrorism is to posit a Western proprietary right to colonial territory, as if Algerian and Iraqi citizens were never there before Western arrival.

The images of a common terrorist character or type, whether within the context of anticolonial struggle or Iraqi insurgency, unite the understanding of the two geographical and political contexts and elide important historical distinctions. Ultimately, statements such as those found in Kaufman’s report of the Pentagon’s invitation to view “clandestine terrorists in places like Algeria and Iraq” suggest not only the concealed, ebullient nature of Arab terrorism but also the RE S US CI TATI NG THE BATT LE OF ALGI E RS 31 Muslim nature of larger Arab insurgency.

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