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Film NationHollywood Looks at U.S. History, Revised Edition$
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Robert Burgoyne

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816642915

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816642915.001.0001

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Trauma and History in United 93 and World Trade Center

Trauma and History in United 93 and World Trade Center

(p.190) 9 Trauma and History in United 93 and World Trade Center
Film Nation

Robert Burgoyne

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter studies the films United 93 and World Trade Center, which are both characterized as politically neutral acts of memorial representation and as straightforward narratives of self-sacrifice and collective determination. Both films follow a narrative arc that emphasizes human agency and collective heroic action in the face of overwhelming catastrophe. Their representation of traumatic historical film provides a limited but useful sense of the power of visual representations to preserve the memory of trauma by “acting out.” The chapter then addresses the role of film in articulating the shift in historical consciousness that 9/11 has produced.

Keywords:   United 93, World Trade Center, memorial representation, traumatic historical film, historical consciousness, 9/11

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