New Article: Alush-Levron, Ethnic Melancholy in Israeli Cinema

Alush-Levron, Merav. “The Politics of Ethnic Melancholy in Israeli Cinema.” Social Identities 21.2 (2015): 169-83.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504630.2015.1041015

Abstract

This paper deals with the way migrants’ children process the trans-generational trauma of immigration and examines its impact on the formation of their self-identity. It explores the manifestation of this trauma as present in two highly-notable works by Mizrahi cinematographers. The memory unfolding in these films is a penetrating audio-visual testimony to the immigration trauma with the mark it has left on the psyches and identities of migrants’ children. It argues that the split identity that is a product of both Israeli assimilationist and Mizrahi resistance inhabits the continuum between mourning and melancholy, grief and grievance. Along this continuum, immigrant subjects engage in intergenerational negotiations between mourning and melancholy, while their ethnic melancholy emerges as an alternative mental state to the Eurocentric hegemony.

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