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Screening TortureMedia Representations of State Terror and Political Domination$
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Fabiola Fernandez Salek

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153591

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153591.001.0001

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Confessing Without Regret

Confessing Without Regret

An Israeli Film Genre

(p.191) 9 Confessing Without Regret
Screening Torture

Livia Alexander

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines how confession and forgiveness in Israeli cinema take place outside the official space of state practice and institutional structures by focusing on three films: One of Us, Waltz with Bashir, and Z32. The international success of Ari Folman’s 2008 animated mockumentary Waltz with Bashir (Valts im Bashir) brought to the forefront a genre dominant in Israeli filmmaking: confessional cinema. It is a genre in which confessing Israeli soldiers perceive and promote themselves as the actual victims, and in which Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and fighters have no presence. Many of the first intifada films dealing with Israeli occupation conclude with a confession of the murder of a Palestinian. This chapter shows that One of Us, Waltz with Bashir, and Z32 all privilege the predicaments of the Israeli soldier and minimize the suffering of the Palestinian and Lebanese people. The confessions in these films lack any engagement with the direct victim.

Keywords:   confession, forgiveness, Israel, film, One of Us, Waltz with Bashir, Z32, confessional cinema, soldiers, intifada

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