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The Invisibilities of Political TortureThe Presence of Absence in US and Chilean Cinema and Television$
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Berenike Jung

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474436991

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474436991.001.0001

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Visible Torture: The Case of Zero Dark Thirty

Visible Torture: The Case of Zero Dark Thirty

(p.24) Chapter 1 Visible Torture: The Case of Zero Dark Thirty
The Invisibilities of Political Torture

Berenike Jung

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012), drawing from its critical reception and existing scholarship on torture, pain and its representational challenges, such as Elaine Scarry, Jennifer Ballengee, and Page DuBois. Detailed textual analysis demonstrates how the film is strategically laced with ambivalences, which helps us understand why its position on torture has been subject to so much controversy. Further analytical emphasis is given to the alliance of documentary and fictional aesthetic and the kind of cinematic experience generated through the film’s protagonist as affective proxy for the audience.

Keywords:   9/11, War on Terror, enhanced interrogation, black sites, torture report, torture debate, Elaine Scarry, ambivalence, Zero Dark Thirty

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