If modern film is ‘post-Austwitz’ film, its drifting into non-fiction is always an unresolved issue open to so many unbearable visions. What should be done to build an audiovisual memoir of the pain accumulated by tyrannies and genocides in a time that is still our own? The titles that make up this cycle interrogate history in a struggle against obscurity, but also against the idea that events “speak for themselves”. The selected films (all necessary, some essential), have been divided into four sections which constitute four gateways into the possibility of thinking about history in cinematographic terms. Mal de archivo (‘Archive Fever’) proposes revisiting the documents of the past. Recitar el trauma (‘Reciting the Trauma’) alludes to the oral memory of witnesses as a depository for a radical truth. Memoria selectiva (‘Selective Memory’) unveils the artifices of collective silence and La Historia-palimpsesto (‘History-palimpsest’) delves into the imaginarium of evil that flows under events.
The cycle is loosely inspired by the dossier La memoria y sus formas (‘Memory and its forms’, Gregorio Martín Gutiérrez and María Luisa Ortega, coordinators), published in sequence. Revista de Historia del Cine (the ‘Film History Review’), nº 30, segundo semestre 2009: UAM, Madrid, 2010.