Article: article from journal or magazin.
The American Woman Warrior: A Transnational Feminist Look at War, Imperialism and Gender
WiN: The EAAS Women's Network Journal
This article examines the issue of torture and spectatorship in the film Zero Dark Thirty through the question of how it deploys gender ideologically and rhetorically to mediate and frame the violence it represents. It begins with the controversy the film provoked but focuses specifically on the movie’s representational and aesthetic techniques, especially its self-awareness about being a film about watching torture, and how it positions its audience in relation to these scenes. Issues of spectator identification, sympathy, interpellation, affect (for example, shame) and genre are explored. The fact that the main protagonist of the film is a woman is a key dimension of the cultural work of the film. I argue that the use of a female protagonist in this film is part of a larger trend in which the discourse of feminism is appropriated for politically conservative and antifeminist ends, here the tacit justification of the legally murky world of black sites and ‘enhanced interrogation techniques.’
Bigelow, Abu Ghraib, torture, film spectatorship, transnational feminism
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