Documenting Absence

Macarena Gómez-Barris

in Where Memory Dwells

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780520255838
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942493 | DOI:
Documenting Absence

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In the aftermath of state violence, the social costs were not evenly distributed among female and male subjects. Documentaries by Patricio Guzmán (Chile, Obstinate Memory, 1997) and Silvio Caiozzi (Fernando ha vuelto [Fernando Returns], 1998) emphasize the familiar narrative that males were the main targets of military repression and that mothers, daughters, and sisters bore the greatest emotional burden of violence's effects. The problem with this rendition is that the female subjects in the films are reified as sufferers and victims of the nation, and female revolutionary subjectivity is cast as marginal. In contrast, Marilú Mallet's film La cueca sola (They Danced Alone, 2003) creates a feminist genealogy of social struggle and experience, which nuances the effects of collective violence and locates female agency within a broader spectrum of the identities mediated by, and emerging out of, authoritarianism.

Keywords: documentaries; Patricio Guzmán; Silvio Caiozzi; social costs; state violence; military repression

Chapter.  8165 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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