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Animal WorldsFilm, Philosophy and Time$
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Laura McMahon

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474446389

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474446389.001.0001

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Conclusion: Cinematic Worlds and Beyond

Conclusion: Cinematic Worlds and Beyond

(p.192) Conclusion: Cinematic Worlds and Beyond
Animal Worlds

Laura McMahon

Edinburgh University Press

The question of animal suffering, and of forms of vulnerability through which animal and human lives are differentially exposed, runs through the films explored in this book, from the reflections on ‘enduring’ and death-in-life states in Bestiaire and The Turin Horse, to the scenes of slaughter in Leviathan and the powerlessness explored by Bovines. In all of the films in this study, there appear to be two different concepts of life at stake: the ‘bare life’ produced by biopolitical regimes and the worlds that unfurl, and make meaning, beyond this. This corresponds to the two different orders of power traced throughout this study, following Deleuze (particularly in his readings of Spinoza and Foucault) – power as domination (pouvoir) and power as potential (puissance), understood as being in a relation of continual exchange. Bestiaire, Bovines and The Turin Horse offer a subtle diagnosis of our biopolitical present and its seemingly relentless ‘subjection of the animal’ (Derrida). Yet these films also hold out the promise of something else, gesturing to possible lines of light and political futures, in which our relations with animal worlds – both onscreen and off – might be reconfigured otherwise.

Keywords:   suffering, power, puissance, Deleuze, Guattari, Derrida, Bailly

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