1. bookVolumen 21 (2022): Edición 1 (July 2022)
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eISSN
2066-7779
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04 Jun 2014
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2 veces al año
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access type Acceso abierto

Recontextualizing Son of Saul: Masculinity in Totalitarian Spaces in Hungarian Film History

Publicado en línea: 05 Aug 2022
Volumen & Edición: Volumen 21 (2022) - Edición 1 (July 2022)
Páginas: 123 - 145
Detalles de la revista
License
Formato
Revista
eISSN
2066-7779
Primera edición
04 Jun 2014
Calendario de la edición
2 veces al año
Idiomas
Inglés
Abstract

As a result of its radical approach to the topic of the Holocaust, as well as due to the long list of prestigious prizes it won, Son of Saul (Saul fia, 2015, directed by László Nemes Jeles) has put the relation between Eastern European societies and totalitarianism in the centre of public and academic discourse. Though most reviews and articles placed the film in the history of Holocaust-representations, this is not the only context in which the film can be understood. In the present article I argue that Son of Saul can also be read outside (or at least at a distance from) the context of a Holocaust-film, as it also belongs to another, quite different and internationally much less known local cinematic canon. There is an unclaimed heritage behind Nemes Jeles’s controversial masterpiece, a trend in Hungarian cinema that explores the crisis of masculinity in totalitarian political regimes, thereby performing an allegorical critique of modernity and modern subjectivity. My recontextualization of Nemes Jeles’s work indicates the ways it is influenced by a local, Eastern European filmmaking tradition (which includes the work of his own father, the filmmaker András Jeles as well), and is supported by three interrelated conceptual focus points: a post-Foucauldian understanding of cultural and cinematic space, an awareness of the workings of modern cinematic allegory, and finally the use of male protagonists as prime sites for the inscription of social crisis and historical trauma.

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