© 2010

Narrating Violence in Post-9/11 Action Cinema

Terrorist Narratives, Cinematic Narration, and Referentiality

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages 1-12
  2. Berenike Jung
    Pages 13-23
  3. Berenike Jung
    Pages 25-111
  4. Berenike Jung
    Pages 113-120
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 121-130

About this book


This work discusses the way in which action movies have responded to the visual and narrative challenge of depicting terrorist violence after 9/11, when the spectacular representation of terrorist violence – and by extension the consumers of these imagers – was considered as complicit behaviour. If terrorism is theatre, who goes to see the show? A close-reading of exemplary movies (V for Vendetta, Munich, and Children of Men) concentrates on three key aspects: How is terrorist violence justified, especially in comparison to other forms of violence? How is the audience implicitly positioned? And finally, what is the role and scope of the films’ visual short-cuts, iconic “real” images such as those from the Abu Ghraib prison? The results reaffirm popular movies' power of working through traumatic events as well as their capacity to articulate a valid political critique. Instead of inventing or preceding real acts of violence, cinema can document, witness, and encourage the spectator to explore unorthodox viewing positions and moral dilemma. This interdisciplinary work is addressed to students of Philosophy, the Humanities, Cinema, American, or Cultural Studies as well as to the interested public.


Abu Ghraib Children of Men Cultural Studies Just War Theory Moral V for Vendetta action movies film studies philosophy

About the authors

Berenike Jung studied Comparative Literature, Cinema, and North American Studies in Berlin, New York, and Paris. She works as a journalist and author with a focus on film and media.

Bibliographic information