Journal Article

Towards an Ethics of Seeing: Sally Potter's the Tango Lesson

Ulrike Vollmer

in Literature and Theology

Volume 19, issue 1, pages 74-85
Published in print March 2005 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/19.1.74
Towards an Ethics of Seeing: Sally Potter's the Tango Lesson

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This paper is concerned with the question where to find the religious in films. In contrast to previous answers to this question, based on themes, styles and references, the religious is considered here in terms of ethics, with an emphasis on an ethical relation between what is in front and behind the camera. Of interest to the search for an ethics of vision are Emmanuel Lévinas’ concept of the I and the other and feminist film theory's critique of the objectifying gaze. Sally Potter's representation of the look as an act of birthing in her film The Tango Lesson provides inspiration to conceptualise vision as an ethical act close to Lévinas’ idea of acceptance of the other, an act that allows for the growing of human subjectivity.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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