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Title: (Un)veiling bodies : a trajectory of Chilean post-dictatorship documentary
Author: Soto, E. R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 1382
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis analyses Chilean documentary films and videos of the post-dictatorial era from the restoration of democracy in 1990 until 2011, focusing on the audiovisual treatment of contested memories of the dictatorship and its legacies. The main argument is that documentary performs a trajectory of a revelation of bodies, oscillating between – at times intersecting with – the bodies of 'direct victims' and the film's body itself. Such an itinerary is deeply intertwined with Chile's own democratic transition. The study aims to transcend Chilean documentary's self-evident testimonial value and restrictive readings of the films as works about trauma, as these eclectic artistic reactions to the military coup present a broad range of affective responses. It establishes connections and disjunctions between different generations of documentarians and heightens the visibility of a number of under-researched productions. To unpack these heterogeneous documentary responses and their aesthetic features, close textual analysis of selected sequences from an extensive corpus is performed. This thesis adopts an interdisciplinary approach informed by the 'haptic turn' in film studies, trauma and memory studies, cultural studies, history and gender. After examining the strategies deployed to reveal the past and its atrocious images, the study reassesses the cinematic homecomings of exilic directors as key precedents of the current rise of first person documentary. The ensuing evaluation of younger directors' productions indicates that whereas childhood memories are mobilised to explore the (im)possibilities of recalling a past only tangentially experienced, a nostalgic approach to the 1980s seeks to claim an active role in the redemocratisation process. Two recent cases featuring rather disturbing voices (of a former agent of repression and of Pinochet’s supporters) shed further light on the transformations experienced both by non-fiction and Chile itself. This thesis thus illustrates a documentary shift from articulating a 'cinema of the affected' to a 'cinema of affect'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT) ; Chile ; Arizona State University ; Hispanic Research Center ; University of Warwick ; Comissão Executiva do Plano da Lavoura Cacaueira ; Assessoria de Economia e Estatística ; Brazil ; Society for Latin American Studies (Great Britain) ; Santander Universities
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN1993 Motion Pictures