Visual Responses: Women’s Experience of Sexual Violence as Represented in Israeli Holocaust-Related Cinema

Citation:

Meiri, Sandra. 2015. “Visual Responses: Women’s Experience of Sexual Violence as Represented in Israeli Holocaust-Related Cinema.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (4): 443-456.  

Author: Sandra Meiri

Abstract:

This article explores the function of Israeli narrative films’ persistent, albeit marginal, portrayal of women as victims of sexual violence during the Holocaust. While the marginalization of such characters may be attributed to the difficulty of representing sexually-related trauma/post-trauma, their portrayal attests both to the ubiquity of sexually-related crimes in the Holocaust and to its aftermath: namely, the persistence of women’s trauma. The first of the two waves of ‘retro films’ examined here evinces the importance of the visual, cinematic representation of women’s trauma. Its main function is to legitimize its disclosure through cinematic aesthetic/artistic mediation, for sexual violence was a crime committed against helpless victims. The second wave includes films made from the point of view of ‘the second generation’, and explores the topic further by dealing with the transmission of post-traumatic symptoms of women’s trauma to the second generation.

Keywords: cinematic visualization, insanity, sexualized violence, the second generation, transmission of women's trauma, unfit motherhood

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gender-Based Violence, Genocide, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe Countries: Israel

Year: 2015

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