Capturing Iraq:Optical Focalization in Contemporary War Cinematography

Fox, Rachel (2018) Capturing Iraq:Optical Focalization in Contemporary War Cinematography. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 20 (4). pp. 470-487. ISSN 1369-801X

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This essay investigates different registers of embedded and fragmentary focalizations in war cinematography on the Iraq War (2003–11), focusing primarily on The Hurt Locker (2008) and the HBO mini-series Generation Kill (2008), but also addressing American Sniper (2014) and the Abu Ghraib scandal. I argue the “extreme close-up” that focuses almost unilaterally on the men on the ground during the Iraq War implicates a “bigger picture”: a larger frame of discourse put forward by the corporate media and the government. This is primarily achieved through recursive narrative structures and through the use of diegetic ocular apparatuses, which are embedded on screen. These renditions of mise en abyme implicate, renegotiate, and even argue with the wide-angle perspective which frames the Iraq War.

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Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Interventions on 10/01/2018, available online:
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Deposited On:
27 Feb 2018 10:22
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 05:22