AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
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AbstractThe paper discusses Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty (2012) through the lens of Lacanian ethics as described in Seminar VII. I argue that Maya's single-minded determination is akin to that of Sophocles' Antigone as presented by Lacan. In particular in her decision to see through her commitment to a cause ‘beyond the limit’ as Lacan would put it, she echoes Antigone's ‘inflexibility’ and even her ‘monstrous’ unfeminine and ‘raw’ stubbornness to her mission. This stance, however, is different from a lack of empathy suggested by some critics and scholars. Instead, it constitutes an ethical act within the Lacanian paradigm. I argue that Maya's gender and her feminine beauty defiant in the world of patriarchal procedures also resonates with the position of Antigone. I claim further that psychoanalysis in its emphasis on the unknowingness of subjects and situations has still a lot to offer to film studies, beyond its post-1968 structuralist readings.
CitationPiotrowska, A (2014) 'Zero Dark Thirty – ‘war autism’ or a Lacanian ethical act?' New Review of Film and Television Studies 12 (2) pp.143-155
PublisherTaylor & Francis