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date: 25 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article addresses elegy in film. Although Totem and Taboo does not mention elegy explicitly, Sigmund Freud's remarks on the remorse and tenderness a band of brothers feel for the patriarch of the primal horde after murdering him allow one to surmise that he would have considered the first elegy to be motivated. Although cinema is shot through with elegiac moments, it contains very few films classifiable generically as elegies. Voiceover and the drama of the future are impregnated with elegy. Music is one of the key distancing devices film employs to elegiac ends. Claude Lanzmann's Shoah meditates upon the near-annihilation of the Jews in the concentration camps of the National Socialists as the final stage in a gradual process of anti-Semitic exclusion originating deep in the darkest recesses of European history. Maciej Drygas' film stands in a tradition for which elegy can represent indictment.

Keywords: elegy, film, Maciej Drygas, Totem and Taboo, voiceover, music, Shoah, Claude Lanzmann

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