Discourses of Legitimation: Representation, Recognition, and Truth in Post-9/11 American War Films
Foster, Grace Malone Aldridge
This thesis examines the role recent feature war films have played in the American cultural consciousness about the War on Terror by interrogating how they formally affirm or challenge dominant narratives about those events. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the relationship between the government, the news media, and the public was complex and unstable. Over fifteen years later, that complexity and instability has only intensified with the proliferation of blogs, podcasts, click bait, and fake news. Chapter One focuses on Zero Dark Thirty (2012) which insisted on its own inclusion in the intricate web of reporting about the events it represents: director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter/producer Mark Boal call it a “reported film,” and the film’s formal techniques mimic this claim. This chapter uses film studies, journalism studies, comparative media studies, and cultural studies to examine Zero Dark Thirty in this context. Chapter Two examines the formal moves that two feature films about drones—Good Kill (Andrew Niccol, 2014) and Eye in the Sky (Gavin Hood, 2016)—make to affirm and challenge dominant narratives about drone warfare, respectively. Though these two films are ideologically opposed, they use the same symbolic economy of helpless female bodies to comment on the moral and bodily stakes of drone warfare. They also use the same formal techniques to different effects, the first emphasizing the depersonalization of drone warfare, and the second emphasizing the intimacy of drone warfare. Together, these chapters interrogate the ways in which contemporary war films have framed the War on Terror and the ways in which those frames—cinema and the armed drone—shape viewers’ perception of the Muslim subject.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Foster, Grace Aldridge (Georgetown University. Communication, Culture & Technology Graduate Program, 2016)Drawing on Judith Butler’s work in Precarious Life (2004) and Frames of War (2009), this paper discusses the way that contemporary American war films, such as Hurt Locker (2008), Zero Dark Thirty (2012), and American ...
Problematizing Minority Voices: Intertextuality and Ideology in the Court Reporter's Representation of Rachel Jeantel's Voice in the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman Murder Trial Sullivan, Grace (Georgetown University, 2017)In 2012, Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman, who, after a month-long highly-publicized trial, was acquitted of second-degree murder. In this study, I examine the testimony of Martin’s childhood friend and key ...