Afflictions pp 135-156 | Cite as

Memory of My Face: Globalization, Madness, and Identity On-screen

  • Robert Lemelson
  • Annie Tucker
Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)


The ethnographic film Memory of My Face features Bambang, a university-educated Indonesian man living in the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia’s largest metropolis. Now in his mid-thirties and diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, Bambang has had episodes of euphoric mania and delusions since he was a sophomore in high school. After sharing his life story, the film and the chapter pay particular attention to the way residues of colonialism and the pervasive influence of globalization affect the subjective experience of his illness, moving beyond biological psychiatry to demonstrate that the content of manic speech and delusions has meaning. This ethnographic argument is mirrored in the filmmaking process and the film narrative, which moves from a sense of strangeness to one of empathy.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Lemelson
    • 1
  • Annie Tucker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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