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Nate Parker, D. W. Griffith and the tangled legacies of The Birth of a Nation
Lydia J. Plath

remain closely tied together in their themes of race and nation, their cinematic techniques, and their representations of sexual violence. The first strand of the rope is thematic: it is the idea of the nation itself and the place of African Americans within it. Both Parker and Griffith saw enslavement as integral to the founding of the United States, and both offered a vision for how the nation could

in D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation
Martin Barker
Clarissa Smith
, and
Feona Attwood

. Together these represent almost a fifth of our responses and suggest that our viewers felt at least some of the same concerns about sexual violence as the many popular and academic commentators. Various writers have noted the depiction of sexual violence of the series as a key characteristic (see, e.g., Rosenberg, 2012, 2015 ; Frankel, 2014b ; Ferreday, 2015 ; Gjelsvik, 2016 ) – focusing particularly on three rape scenes: of Daenerys by Khal Drogo; of Cersei by her brother Jaime Lannister; and of Sansa by Ramsay Bolton – and observing that the series presents sexual

in Watching Game of Thrones
Rowland Wymer

reading that it is not ‘conscience’ which is ‘born of love’ but rather the person ‘who knows not conscience’. At all events, the complex tangle of love, lust, and conscience in these lines is not the most obvious prelude to the rather chaste and idealised images which follow. The sexual violence which features in many of Jarman’s films has here been subjected to a rigorous repression, although since we are talking about a

in Derek Jarman
Abstract only
Ana María Sánchez-Arce

(including problematic stereotypes) to critique the persistence of patriarchal structures in contemporary Spain and repeated intergenerational sexual violence as symptomatic of the persistence of Franco’s ideological regime well into the democratic era. In this chapter, I argue that Volver ’s comic genre and pop aesthetic disguise its serious consideration of difficult issues, much as his earlier and later comedies do. The overt comedy, much of it relating to eschatological bodily fluids and noises such as the mother’s smell and farts, performs an act of amelioration

in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
¡Átame!, Tacones lejanos, and Kika
Ana María Sánchez-Arce

voyeur’s footage shown on television also contributes to the negative reaction. As Acevedo-Muñoz notes, ‘in Almodóvar’s films sexual violence is often treated as an allegory of Franco’s repressive regime and state apparatus’ and ‘suggests the possibility that Spain’s Transition into democracy and away from the Fascists’ violent, authoritative ways is not complete, that the country might still be in danger of a return to a reactionary state’ (2007: 10; 24–5). This is clearer in films with more authoritarian characters but not so much in Kika where the rapist is

in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
How audiences engage with dark television

The eight-season-long HBO television adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones was an international sensation, generating intense debates and controversies in many spheres. In 2016–17, an international research project gathered more than 10,000 responses to a complex online survey, in which people told of their feelings and judgements towards the series. The project was an ambitious attempt to explore the role that ‘fantasy’ plays in contemporary society. This book presents the project’s major outcomes. It explores people’s choices of favourite characters and survivors. It looks at the way modern works of fantasy relate to people’s sense of their own world, and what is happening to it. It explores the way that particular televisual decisions have generated controversies, most notably in relation to presentations of nudity, sex and sexual violence. The book uses the project’s distinctive methodology to draw out seven ways in which audiences watched the series, and shows how these lead to different responses and judgements. Notably, it leads to a reconsideration of the idea of ‘lurking’ as a problematic way of participating. A pair of complex emotions – relish and anguish – is used to make sense of the different ways that audiences engaged with the ongoing TV show. The book closes with an examination of the debates over the final season, and the ways in which audiences demanded ‘deserved’ endings for all the characters, and for themselves as fans.

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Hable con ella
Ana María Sánchez-Arce

Almodóvar’s cinema shows the ability of cinematic language to build alternative worlds that conceal as much as reveal. His films are full of secrets and ellipses, which correspond to what in literature has been described as poetic diction. This chapter looks at how poetic techniques are used to equivocate and undermine spectators’ assumptions. These techniques are employed to comment on the (sometimes misused) power of cinema and storytelling. In considering Hable con ella’s formal aspects, the chapter explores the controversy that the film generated due to one of the main characters’ rape of a female patient, showing how sexual violence is a narrative tool that Almodóvar frequently uses in relation to national trauma and how point of view and equivocation techniques are used by both film and character to mislead. Much like Nabokov’s Lolita, this film’s virtuosity lies in its implication of viewers in criminal activity.

in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
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Steven Peacock

and sexploitation reflecting the country’s ‘sex-positive’ standpoint. Combinations of these determinants feature across Swedish crime fiction, also gaining ground, as we have discovered, from the 1960s onwards. Two recurrent strands of interest emerge, on occasion troublingly intertwined: homosexuality and sexual violence. A tolerant form? Coming from under the banner of Sweden’s tolerant society, crime fiction displays a complicated dynamic in terms of homosexuality. In implicit and explicit ways, the crime narratives often suggest links between deviant criminal

in Swedish crime fiction
One Billion Rising, dance and gendered violence
Dana Mills

: A Memoir of Cancer and Connection. The book recalls Ensler’s struggle with liver cancer, explores her experience of being sexually molested by her father and her attempts to build the City of Joy, a healing space for women survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ensler 2013a).1 The memoir presents two parallel and interlinked narratives: Ensler’s search for a healing space for herself following her detachment from her body throughout her life; and her engagement with structural violence against women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

in Dance and politics
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Moving from trauma to witness in the nightmares of Bronx Gothic
Carolyn Chernoff
Kristen Shahverdian

hinting at and at others directly addressing sexual violence and the victimisation of young Black girls. 3 In the US, where the performance is set and from where the authors write, the level of violence against Black girls and women is staggering, rarely goes reported, and exists in a context of historical trauma, racism, oppression and abuse from slavery to the current system of white supremacy. 4 The two Black girls of

in Dreams and atrocity