The Missing Dead of the Great Hunger: Metaphor and Palimpsest in Irish Film
Och discusses how the two great famines (1740–1741, 1845–1852) and one minor famine (1879) are not directly depicted in indigenous Irish cinema. By building upon the larger consideration of international and national popular and institutional discourses, the chapter argues that the Irish refusal to overtly represent and narrate Famine cinematically is emblematic of a larger postcolonial challenge to historicizing and memorializing the past as complete and finished. Neil Jordan’s 2012 vampire film Byzantium is discussed as a case study to demonstrate how contemporary works of Irish cinema use metaphor to deal with questions of the past through literal and figurative palimpsest.
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