Screening the Scars: The Cinematic (In)visibility of Social Trauma

Author(s) : Andreas Hamburger

Screening the Scars: The Cinematic (In)visibility of Social Trauma

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : November 2024
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 288
  • Category :
  • Category 2 :
  • Catalogue No : 97822
  • ISBN 13 : 9781800132900
  • ISBN 10 : 1800132905
RRP : £28.99
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Using the cultural medium of film to show how very differently social trauma is negotiated and narrated in different societies, a varied group of international experts offer a careful analysis of the psycho-historical roots of differently motivated losses of trust in social instances in connection with the concept of social trauma.

In the last decade, the concept of trauma has experienced a surprising boom in sociological and media debates. In a culture of outrage, blanket narratives of victimhood often overshadow the concrete, known social violations and their observable real economic and psychological consequences. The aim of this volume is to reflect on this shift in discourse and to compare it with the concrete historical backgrounds and psychosocial constitutions of countries that have been haunted by social trauma in different ways. In discussing feature films from Germany and four Balkan countries, the book presents the distinct social-traumatic histories, how they are negotiated in different societies, and the motifs cinema uses to narrate them.

The award-winning films featured are Sadilishteto [The Judgement], Grbavica [Esma’s Secret – Grbavica], Muškarci ne placu [Men Don’t Cry], Enklava [Enclave], Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer [The People vs. Fritz Bauer], and Sonbahar [Autumn]. The individual film analyses are each accompanied by interviews with the filmmakers and introduced by overarching themes, the role of cinema as a place of social understanding in a post-traumatic society, and the methodology of film analysis.

With contributions from the worlds of film, psychoanalysis, activism, psychiatry, film studies, literary and cultural studies, psychology, trauma studies, philosophy, psychotherapy, and human relations, this book has a broad appeal. It is a must-read for those looking for a deeper insight into social trauma and the impact of sociocultural factors, shown so clearly through the filmmaker’s lens.

Table of Contents

About the editor and contributors

Introduction: Cinematic art and the void
Andreas Hamburger

Part I: Cinematic experience of social trauma
1. The elephant and the screen. Cinema in the aftermath of social trauma
Andreas Hamburger

2. Screening memory in trauma cinema
Dijana Jelača

3. Screening post-Yugoslav trauma and therapy
Tatjana Petzer

Part II: Films and talks
4. Filming history, filming trauma. Relational psychoanalysis of cinematic art in the post-traumatic void
Andreas Hamburger

5. Border of hope and death. Stephan Komandarev’s Sadilishteto [The Judgement] and repetition compulsion
Vivian Pramataroff-Hamburger

6. Injustice in past and present. Sadilishteto [The Judgement]
Stephan Komandarev in conversation with Camellia Hancheva

7. Jasmila Žbanić’s Grbavica: The land of my pain
Nadia Kozhouharova

8. “Let’s relax – this is going to go on”: On time and trauma
Jasmila Žbanić in conversation with Damir Arsenijević

9. Trauma, society, and art
Ajna Jusić in conversation with Dženana Husremović

10. Trauma and reconciliation in contemporary Balkan cinema: Alen Drljević’s Men Don’t Cry (2017)
Svetlozar Vassilev

11. Cinema of reconciliation
Alen Drljević in conversation with Maida Koso-Drljević

12. Container–contained and broken bonds in Goran Radovanović’s Enklava
Camellia Hancheva

13. Social trauma in Serbia: the importance of history and the power of repentance
Goran Radovanović in conversation with Biljana Stanković

14. The People v. Fritz Bauer. Lars Kraume’s film against forgetting
Andreas Hamburger

15. The People v. Fritz Bauer
Lars Kraume in conversation with Friederike Bassenge

16. Özkan Alper’s Sonbahar [Autumn]
Cem Kaptanoglu

17. Exploring social trauma and cultural resilience
Özcan Alper in conversation with Gamze Özçürümez on Sonbahar [Autumn]

18. Epilogue: Cultures and mournings. A comparison of social trauma cinemas, with an epilogue on elephants
Andreas Hamburger


About the Author(s)

Andreas Hamburger psychoanalyst (DPG/IPA), and training analyst (DPG, DGPT), is professor of clinical psychology and psychoanalysis, International Psychoanalytic University, Berlin. He is author, editor, and co-editor of numerous books, book series, and a journal on his main research topics: psychoanalytic supervision, film psychoanalysis, social trauma. Recent English books are Hamburger, Hancheva, & Volkan (Eds.), Social Trauma – An Interdisciplinary Textbook (Springer, 2020); Pramataroff-Hamburger & Hamburger (Eds.), From La Strada to The Hours – Suffering and Sovereign Women in the Movies (Springer, 2024); Hamburger, Film Psychoanalysis – Relational Approaches to Film Interpretation (Routledge, 2024).

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