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Democratic ambivalence in post mortem
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 14:45 authored by James Harvey
Pablo Larraín’s trilogy of films has broken new ground in Chilean cinema by offering a new perspective on realities of the Pinochet dictatorship, the outbreak of the coup, and the dissolution of Pinochet’s power. This article explores Larraín’s use of banality, which, I claim, realizes a democratic ambivalence that is latent in historical representation and History proper. Rather than accusing Larraín’s films of conservatism or apathy, I argue that these films seek to destabilize the known categories of identification: a radical gesture against any form of establishment. Paying particular attention to Larraín’s aesthetics, I claim that the radical gesture of Post mortem (2010) lies in its innovations at the level of mise-en-scène and editing. Drawing on philosophical insights in Jacques Rancière’s and Gilles Deleuze’s writings on historical representation and ambivalent representations, I argue that Larraín avoids conventional forms of historical fiction and Latin American political cinema.
Publication titleJournal of Latin American Cultural Studies
PublisherTaylor & Francis