The truth of reenactments: reliving, reconstructing, and contesting history in documentaries on genocide

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

This article seeks to renegotiate the relationship between reenactment, truth, history, and the archive in documentaries on genocide. It moves away from the common binaries surrounding the supposed creativity and fictionality of reenactments as opposed to the evidentiary and static archive, and instead reads reenactments as facilitating access to truth. Through four case studies of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah (1985), Laurence Rees’s Auschwitz: The Nazis and the ‘Final Solution’ (2005), Rithy Panh’s The Missing Picture (2013), and Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing (2012), it contends that reenactments in documentaries on genocide problematize the associations of an image’s supposed indexical link to a past event with truth. Instead, reenactments confront us with the constructed nature of historical narrative and enable us to see affective, factual, and ethical truths of the past unavailable through the archive.
TidsskriftStudies in Documentary Film
Sider (fra-til)1-18
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 28 aug. 2023

ID: 364502077