University of California Press
Janet Walker

Trauma Cinema: Documenting Incest and the Holocaust

Trauma Cinema aims to contextualize and theorize the work of documentary films that adopt catastrophe as their subject matter and trauma as their aesthetic in order to demonstrate how amnesias, fantasies, and mistakes in memory may be understood to contribute to public culture and historical meaning-making. Focusing on incest and the Holocaust as two realms of brutal injustice and two scholarly paradigms through which the literature in trauma studies has developed, the book analyzes changing concepts of post-traumatic stress disorder and the so-called memory wars—and introduces the term “traumatic paradox”—to illuminate the trenchant cultural work of “trauma cinema.”