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Killer Images: Documentary Film, Memory, and the Performance of Violence

Edited by Joram Ten Brink and Joshua Oppenheimer

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Paper, 240 pages, B&W Illus.: 15,
ISBN: 978-0-231-16335-4
$25.00 / £17.50

January, 2013
Cloth, 240 pages, B&W Illus.: 15,
ISBN: 978-0-231-16334-7
Wallflower Press
$80.00 / £55.00

Cinema has long shaped not only how mass violence is perceived but also how it is performed. Today, when media coverage is central to the execution of terror campaigns and news anchormen serve as embedded journalists, a critical understanding of how the moving image is implicated in the imaginations and actions of perpetrators and survivors of violence is all the more urgent. If the cinematic image and mass violence are among the defining features of modernity, the former is significantly implicated in the latter, and the nature of this implication is the book’s central focus.

This book brings together a range of newly commissioned essays and interviews from the world’s leading academics and documentary filmmakers, including Ben Anderson, Errol Morris, Harun Farocki, Rithy Phan, Avi Mograbi, Brian Winston, and Michael Chanan. Contributors explore such topics as the tension between remembrance and performance, the function of moving images in the execution of political violence, and nonfiction filmmaking methods that facilitate communities of survivors to respond to, recover, and redeem a history that sought to physically and symbolically annihilate them

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About the Author

Joram ten Brink is Professor of Film at the University of Westminster, London, where he is also the director of Doc West, the Centre for Production and Research of Documentary Film. He is also a filmmaker; his films have been broadcast and theatrically released internationally, and his work has been screened at the Berlin and Rotterdam film festivals and at MoMA in New York. His previous publications include, as editor, Building Bridges: The Cinema of Jean Rouch (2007).Joshua Oppenheimer is a filmmaker based in London and Copenhagen. His most recent film is The Act of Killing (2012). He is a founding member of the filmmaking collaboration Vision Machine, with whom he worked for over a decade with militias, death squads and their victims to explore the relationship between political violence and the public imagination. He was a senior researcher on the AHRC Genocide and Genre project at the University of Westminster, and is the co-editor of Acting on AIDS: Sex, Drugs and Politics (1997).

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