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Traumatic ImprintsCinema, Military Psychiatry, and the Aftermath of War$
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Noah Tsika

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520297630

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520297630.001.0001

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“Casualties of the Spirit”

“Casualties of the Spirit”

Let There Be Light and Its Contexts

Chapter:
(p.169) Chapter 5 “Casualties of the Spirit”
Source:
Traumatic Imprints
Author(s):

Noah Tsika

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520297630.003.0006

Through its diverse documentary devices, John Huston’s Army Signal Corps film Let There Be Light (1946) helped both to crystalize and to catalyze representations of combat trauma in the military as well as in Hollywood, serving as a key (if somewhat occluded) mediator between the two institutions. But it was far from the only military-produced documentary of the period to grapple, in observational fashion, with the effects of combat trauma, recording various therapeutic methods and enjoying a broad nontheatrical exhibition. Its institutional and filmic contexts form the subject of this chapter.

Keywords:   John Huston, military, psychiatry, psychology, narcosynthesis, documentary

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