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Eastwood's Iwo JimaCritical Engagements with Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima$
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Anne Gjelsvik and Rikke Schubart

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165655

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165655.001.0001

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Beyond Mimesis

Beyond Mimesis

War, Memory, and History in Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers

(p.119) Beyond Mimesis
Eastwood's Iwo Jima

Holger Pötzsch

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores how movies function as “memory-making films” and the way an individual film is transposed into cultural memory. Offering a reading of Flags of Our Fathers (2006), it considers the impact of Clint Eastwood’s film on historical discourse. It argues that Flags of Our Fathers shows a process of translation and negotiation where the remediation of the battle of Iwo Jima turns truth into myth and raises the question of whether it is possible to represent the past as it was. It also considers the role played by historical truth when eruptive and erratic traumatic memories meet memory politics. The chapter suggests that a polyphonous and multi-vocal fiction film may be the closest thing we find to something that can provoke the public into thinking critically about the past.

Keywords:   memory-making film, cultural memory, Flags of Our Fathers, Clint Eastwood, historical discourse, translation, negotiation, Iwo Jima, historical truth, memory politics

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