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Humanities 2018, 7(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020040

Staging Encounters with Estranged Pasts: Radu Jude’s The Dead Nation (2017) and the Cinematic Face of Public Memory of the Holocaust in Present-Day Romania

Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London, London WC1B 5DQ, UK
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 8 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Holocaust in Literature and Film)
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Abstract

This article provides a close analysis of Radu Jude’s The Dead Nation (2017), a documentary essay that brings together authentic archival sources documenting the persecution and murder of Jews in World War II. The sources include a little-known diary of Emil Dorian, a Jewish medical doctor and writer from Bucharest, a collection of photographs depicting scenes from Romanian daily life in the 1930s and 1940s, and recordings of political speeches and propaganda songs of a Fascist nature. Through a careful framing of this film in relation to Romanian public memory of World War II, and in connection to the popular new wave cinema, I will contend that Jude’s work acts, perhaps unwittingly, to intervene in public memory and invites the Romanian public to face up to and acknowledge the nation’s perpetrator past. This filmic intervention further offers an important platform for public debate on Romania’s Holocaust memory and is of significance for European public memory, as it proposes the film happening as a distinct and innovative practice of public engagement with history. View Full-Text
Keywords: public memory; post-1989 Romania; Radu Jude; Emil Dorian; cinematic intervention; dialectical montage; public reception public memory; post-1989 Romania; Radu Jude; Emil Dorian; cinematic intervention; dialectical montage; public reception
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Popescu, D.I. Staging Encounters with Estranged Pasts: Radu Jude’s The Dead Nation (2017) and the Cinematic Face of Public Memory of the Holocaust in Present-Day Romania. Humanities 2018, 7, 40.

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