Jerome de Groot. Memory and trauma in Anglophone historical film: some examples of recent practice

James Joyce wrote that «History [...] is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake», suggesting that the past was a traumatic horror that modernity sought to escape from. This talk looks at various ways that history might be figured as traumatic experience, and considers how this is articulated in contemporary historical film. My examples range from the films of Michael Haneke to those of Steven Spielberg; from issues of colonial guilt and slavery to considerations of urban deprivation, political violence, and the return (literally at times) of the dead.