Between Israel and Germany: Therapeutic return to the place of trauma in contemporary Israeli cinema

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Abstract

The article explores the phenomenon of return to Germany in contemporary Israeli cinema and argues that this return encodes a therapeutic construct for cultural healing from the traumas of forced migration and the Holocaust. Trauma studies supplies a theoretical framework for the analysis of three films and informs the investigation of the wider cultural and historical contexts of the return. Two of the films bring their protagonists to Germany to face the descendants of the perpetrators. The encounter with Germany and German characters initiates an emotional process that may result in a working through of the trauma. The third film reflects on the notion of return as a therapeutic trope but leaves it as an unfulfilled option. These films thus serve as case studies to examine broader theoretical issues that relate to processes of return and possibilities of collective recovery.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)179-197
Number of pages19
JournalNew German Critique
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 by New German Critique, Inc.

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