Cinema has a long history of engaging with the theme of sacrifice. Given its capacity to stimulate the imagination and resonate across a wide spectrum of human experiences, sacrifice has always attracted filmmakers. It is on screen that the new grand narratives are sketched, the new myths rehearsed, and the old ones recycled. Sacrifice can provide stories of loss and mourning, betrayal and redemption, death and renewal, destruction and re-creation, apocalypses and the birth of new worlds.
The contributors to this volume are not just scholars of film but also students of religion and literature, philosophers, ethicists, and political scientists, thus offering a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the relationship between cinema and sacrifice. They explore how cinema engages with sacrifice in its many forms and under different guises, and examine how the filmic constructions, reconstructions and misconstructions of sacrifice affect society, including its sacrificial practices.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Angelaki: journal of the theoretical humanities.
1. Introduction: "The joy of destruction is also the joy of creation" Costica Bradatan
Part I: Sacrifice and the Body Politic
2. Odysseus Unbound: Sovereignty and Sacrifice in Hunger and the Dialectic of Enlightenment Banu Bargu
3. Heart of the Matter: Bodies without Organs and Biopolitics in Organ Transplant Films Patricia Pisters
4. Clôtural Sacrifice: Liminal Representation of Race in Film Farhang Erfani
5. Sacrifice, Violence and the Limits of Moral Representation in Haneke’s Caché Camil Ungureanu
6. Bodies of Estrangement: Mel Gibson, Sacrifice and History Jorge Bastos da Silva
Part II: Sacrifice, Transcendence, Self-Transcendence
7. Faith, Sacrifice, and the Earth’s Glory in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life George B. Handley
8. "When I swallow his heart and lungs, Jesus is pleased": The Transmediation of Sacrifice in The Journals of Knud Rasmussen Russell J.A. Kilbourn
9. Anatomy of Melancholia Robert Sinnerbrink
10. "We will die and will be free": A Gnostic Reading of The Double Life of Véronique Costica Bradatan
11. A Sacrificial Economy of the Image: Lyotard on Cinema Ashley Woodward