Documenting the “Residue of Battle”
The introduction considers some of the consequential intersections between Freudian psychoanalysis, military psychiatry, and documentary film in a period that predated the codification of war trauma as PTSD. At stake in its reevaluation of wartime and postwar military media is a broader understanding of how war trauma and psychotherapy were articulated in and through documentary and realist film. Situated at the intersection of trauma studies and documentary studies, the introduction considers some of the historically specific debates about, aspirations for, and uses of documentary as a vehicle for honoring, monitoring, understanding, publicizing, and even “working through” war trauma, while occasionally conceding trauma’s contradictory and intractable character.
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