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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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Prosthetic Memory/National Memory: Forrest Gump

Prosthetic Memory/National Memory: Forrest Gump

(p.104) 5 Prosthetic Memory/National Memory: Forrest Gump
Film Nation

Robert Burgoyne

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter considers the film Forrest Gump as an example of social memory’s role in constructing concepts of nation. The film relieves the power of memory and narratives of memory to create subjective connections to the national past, and to call forth the sense of “I” and “we” that makes the national narrative compelling and meaningful. It also rejects the political movements of the 1960s, clearing blacks, women, and the counterculture in an effort to disengage cultural memory from public history. It imagines America as a kind of virtual nation whose historical debts have been forgiven and whose disabilities have all been corrected.

Keywords:   Forrest Gump, social memory, concepts of nation, power of memory, narratives of memory, national narrative

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