Trauma and Memory: Animating the Inexpressible
Abstract: This paper will investigate the use of animation in three documentaries of personal history. Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008), Drawn From Memory (Paul Fierlinger, 1995) and Learned by Heart (Marjut Rimminen & Päivi Takala, 2007) show us that memory is as ephemeral and elusive as the past itself. All three films exploit animation’s unique symbolic potential to express the subjective and the internal. These rich explorations show how animation conveys the inexpressible memories of a personal, and often traumatic, past.
Biographical Statement: Bella is currently completing her doctoral dissertation on animated documentary and this paper’s topic is one she focuses on in the final chapter of her dissertation. She has presented her work at many conferences in the US and UK (including SAS 2008, Visible Evidence 2008, SCMS 2005/2007/2008 and Screen 2006/2007). She contributes book and DVD reviews to Film International and Animation: And Interdisciplinary Journal and has had essays published in the Journal of British Cinema and Television and Falling in Love Again, an edited collection forthcoming from I. B. Tauris.