Publication details

Trauma "Made in Hollywood": The Representation of Trauma and Healing in Selected Hollywood Films



Year of publication 2014
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Based upon selected case studies, the presentation examined various representations of trauma as they were traditionally constructed by mainstream American cinema. A thematic focus on the portrayal of the impact of a variety of traumatic events, as well as on the processes of their healing, was further combined with a focus on the screen representation of blackness, as most of the selected protagonists happen to be African-American. The presentation mapped the mutually intersecting elements of trauma and blackness, ranging from the suffering heroes of the coming home movies Home of the Brave (1949, 2006), the representation of the unholy visitations of the ex-slave Sethe in Jonathan Demme's 1998 adaptation of Beloved, through the portrayal of the problematic healing of Hale Berry's Leticia Musgrove in the dark Southern drama Monsters' Ball (Marc Forster, 2001), commented on the typical strategies of their deployment, and their evolution over time.

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