© 2017

Scars and Wounds

Film and Legacies of Trauma

  • Nick Hodgin
  • Amit Thakkar

About this book


This book examines recent cinematic representations of the traumatic legacies of national and international events and processes. Whilst not ignoring European and Hollywood cinema, it includes studies of films about countries which have been less well-represented in cinematic trauma studies, including Australia, Rwanda, Chile and Iran. Each essay establishes national and international contexts that are relevant to the films considered. All essays also deal with form, whether this means the use of specific techniques to represent certain aspects of trauma or challenges to certain genre conventions to make them more adaptable to the traumatic legacies addressed by directors. The editors argue that the healing processes associated with such legacies can helpfully be studied through the idiom of ‘scar-formation’ rather than event-centred ‘wound-creation’.


trauma scars politics melodrama memory Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder silence cinema legacy wounds mourning victimhood nation

Editors and affiliations

  • Nick Hodgin
    • 1
  • Amit Thakkar
    • 2
  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Lancaster UniversityLancasterUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Nick Hodgin is Lecturer in German at the University of Sheffield, UK. He has published widely on German cinema including Screening the East: Heimat, Memory and Nostalgia in German Cinema (2011) and the co-edited volume, The GDR Remembered(2011), as well as on international film, documentary film, and cultural studies.

Amit Thakkar is Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Lancaster University, UK. He has co-edited special issues of journals on masculinities and violence in Latin America, one of which was selected for Routledge’s Special Issues as Books series. He has also published articles on crash cinemas in Latin American film.

Bibliographic information


“Scars and Wounds is an outstanding contribution to an understanding of the causes and effects of trauma.  With case studies including films made in Algeria, Bosnia, Rwanda, Chile and the USA, documentaries and fictional narratives, mainstream and low-budget productions, it perfectly balances historical research with discussion of the means filmmakers use to give shape to events that tear the tissue of individual and collective bodies. It demonstrates that trauma, even if resulting from natural disasters, is always imbricated with politics, including class and gender politics.” (Prof. Ewa Mazierska, Professor of Contemporary Cinema, School of Humanities and Social Sciences , UCLAN, UK) 

“Scars and Wounds is essential reading for those interested in trauma and cinema. Its highly innovative approach and consistently lucid, nuanced analysis entails a somatic sensibility that explores trauma as an ever-present scar, correlating the physical process of wounding and scarring with the process of cinematic representation. Examining filmic depictions framed by a range of traumatic events, such as those arising from the Algerian civil war, the Bosnian war, atrocities in Rwanda, and Hurricane Katrina, through to Argentina’s last military dictatorship, this collection of outstanding essays encompasses a broad geographical scope that opens up new perspectives on Michael Rothberg’s concept of multidirectional memory. The anthology, skilfully brought together by Amit Thakkar and Nick Hodgin, makes a significant, timely and path-breaking contribution to scholarship on trauma and cinema.” (Fran Pheasant-Kelly, Reader in Screen Studies, University of Wolverhampton, UK)