Before 9/11, films addressing torture outside of the
horror/slasher genre depicted the practice in a variety of forms.
In most cases, torture was cast as the act of a desperate and
depraved individual, and the viewer was more likely to identify
with the victim rather than the torturer. Since the terrorist
attacks of September 11, 2001, scenes of brutality and torture in
mainstream comedies, dramatic narratives, and action films appear
for little other reason than to titillate and delight. In these
films, torture is devoid of any redeeming qualities, represented as
an exercise in brutal senselessness carried out by authoritarian
regimes and institutions.
This volume follows the shift in the representation of torture
over the past decade, specifically in documentary, action, and
political films. It traces and compares the development of this
trend in films from the United States, Europe, China, Latin
America, South Africa, and the Middle East. Featuring essays by
sociologists, psychologists, historians, journalists, and
specialists in film and cultural studies, the collection approaches
the representation of torture in film and television from multiple
angles and disciplines, connecting its aesthetics and practices to
the dynamic of state terror and political domination.
Subjects: Sociology, Film Studies
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