Facing the Past

Isabelle Mcneill

in Memory and the Moving Image

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780748638918
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671014 | DOI:
Facing the Past

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This chapter investigates the mnemonic power of the filmed testimony or interview. The emphasis on the visual image of the act of testimony indicates that the body of the witness is seen as a guarantor for the truth of the testimony. The importance and emotive power of faces move beyond the confines of the body into the surrounding space, social context and other framing elements. The filmed face reports an image that expresses and communicates. In both Pola à 27 ans and Mimi, the evocation of memory takes place in a face-to-face situation between two women. Level Five, Immemory and Histoire(s) du cinéma seek in the faces of women an interface between their memories and history, between self and other, subject and object. Faces can ‘screen’ in both aspects of the word, presenting the problem of exposure versus the desirability of revelation.

Keywords: visual image; testimony; faces; Pola à 27 ans; Mimi; Level Five; Immemory; Histoire(s) du cinéma; memory

Chapter.  18337 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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