Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

Breathing Bodies

Sounding Subjectivity in the War Film

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2016), 10, (2), 167–188.

Abstract

In this article, through close comparative analysis of the sound design of two Iranian films, Bahram Beizai’s Bashu, The Little Stranger (Bashu, gharibeye koochak, 1990) and Bahman Ghobadi’s Turtles Can Fly (Lakposhtha parvaz mikonand, 2004), I argue that sound can play a crucial restorative role by articulating a sense of characters’ agency and subjectivity so often denied to civilian victims of war, both in official records and in their cinematic representation. As such, I claim that the films offer a radical alternative to dominant conceptualisations of war as depicted in Hollywood cinema, challenging and broadening our understanding of the genre as well as potentially deepening our understanding of the impact of war on the lives of civilians and refugees.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Burgoyne, Robert (2012) ‘Embodiment in the war film: Paradise Now and The Hurt Locker’, Journal of War and Culture Studies, 5 (1), pp.7–19. Embodiment in the war film: Paradise Now and The Hurt Locker Journal of War and Culture Studies 5 7 19 Google Scholar

Butler, Judith (2009) Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? London and Brooklyn: Verso. Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? Google Scholar

Butler, Judith (2013) ‘The Discourse of Terror’. In: Bailes, Jon, & Aksan, Cihan (eds). Weapon of the Strong: Conversations on US State Terrorism. New York: Pluto Press, pp.109–117. The Discourse of Terror Weapon of the Strong: Conversations on US State Terrorism 109 117 Google Scholar

Carpenter, Robyn (2000) ‘Surfacing Children: Limitations of Genocidal Rape Discourse’, Human Rights Quarterly, 22.2 (May, 2000), pp.428–477. Surfacing Children: Limitations of Genocidal Rape Discourse Human Rights Quarterly 428 477 Google Scholar

Carpenter, R. Charli (2010) Forgetting the Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond. New York: Columbia University Press. Forgetting the Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond Google Scholar

Chion, Michel (1994) Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. Trans. Claudia Gorbman. New York: Columbia University Press. Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen Google Scholar

Chion, Michel (1999) The Voice in Cinema. Trans. Claudia Gorbman. New York: Columbia University Press. The Voice in Cinema Google Scholar

Clover, Carol (1987) ‘Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film’, Representations, 20 (Autumn), pp.187–228. Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film Representations 187 228 Google Scholar

Copelon, Rhonda (1994) ‘Surfacing Gender: Re-Engraving Crimes Against Women in Humanitarian Law’, Hastings Women’s Law Journal, 5 (2), pp.243–266. Surfacing Gender: Re-Engraving Crimes Against Women in Humanitarian Law Hastings Women’s Law Journal 5 243 266 Google Scholar

Culbertson, Roberta (1995) ‘Embodied Memory, Transcendence, and Telling: Recounting Trauma, Re-establishing the Self’, New Literary History, 26 (1), pp.169–195. Embodied Memory, Transcendence, and Telling: Recounting Trauma, Re-establishing the Self New Literary History 26 169 195 Google Scholar

Cusick, Suzanne G. (2013) ‘Towards an acoustemology of detention in the “global war on terror”’. In: Born, Georgina (ed.). Music, Sound and Space: Transformations of Public and Private Experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.275–291. Towards an acoustemology of detention in the “global war on terror” Music, Sound and Space: Transformations of Public and Private Experience 275 291 Google Scholar

Dolar, Mladen (2006) The Voice and Nothing More. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. The Voice and Nothing More Google Scholar

Donnelly, Kevin J. (2014) Occult Aesthetics: Synchronization in Sound Film. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Occult Aesthetics: Synchronization in Sound Film Google Scholar

Ennaji, Moha, & Sadiqi, Fatima (eds) (2011) Gender and Violence in the Middle East. Abingdon: Routledge. Gender and Violence in the Middle East Google Scholar

Feld, Steven (2003) ‘A Rainforest Acoustemology’. In: Bull, Michael, & Back, Les (eds). The Auditory Culture Reader. Oxford: Berg, pp.223–239. A Rainforest Acoustemology The Auditory Culture Reader 223 239 Google Scholar

Hallas, Roger, & Guerin, Frances (eds) (2007) The Image and the Witness: Trauma, Memory and Visual Culture. London and New York: Wallflower Press. The Image and the Witness: Trauma, Memory and Visual Culture Google Scholar

Heineman, Elizabeth D. (ed.) (2011) Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones: From the Ancient World to the Era of Human Rights. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones: From the Ancient World to the Era of Human Rights Google Scholar

Hochberg, Gil (2013) ‘Soldiers as filmmakers: on the prospect of “shooting war” and the question of ethical spectatorship’, Screen, 54 (1), pp.44–61. Soldiers as filmmakers: on the prospect of “shooting war” and the question of ethical spectatorship Screen 54 44 61 Google Scholar

Kara, Selmin (2009) ‘Reassembling the Nation: Iraq in Fragments and the Acoustics of Occupation’, Studies in Documentary Film, 3 (3), pp.259–274. Reassembling the Nation: Iraq in Fragments and the Acoustics of Occupation Studies in Documentary Film 3 259 274 Google Scholar

Koebel, Caroline (2009) ‘Torture, maternity, and truth in Jasmila Zbanic’s Grbavica: Land of My Dreams’, Jump Cut, 51. Available from: http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/jc51.2009/Grvbavica/text.html (Accessed: 30 August 2016). Google Scholar

Laub, Dori (1992) Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis and History. London: Routledge. Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis and History Google Scholar

Lovatt, Philippa (2015) ‘Carceral Soundscapes: Sonic violence and embodied experience in films about imprisonment’, SoundEffects, 5 (1), pp.25–39. Carceral Soundscapes: Sonic violence and embodied experience in films about imprisonment SoundEffects 5 25 39 Google Scholar

Lury, Karen (2010a) The Child in Film. London: I.B. Tauris. The Child in Film Google Scholar

Lury, Karen (2010b) ‘Children in an open world: Mobility as ontology in New Iranian and Turkish Cinema’, Feminist Theory, 11 (3), pp.283–294. Children in an open world: Mobility as ontology in New Iranian and Turkish Cinema Feminist Theory 11 283 294 Google Scholar

Marfleet, Philip (2007) ‘Refugees and History: Why We Must Address the Past’, Refugee Survey Quarterly, 26 (3), pp.136–148. Refugees and History: Why We Must Address the Past Refugee Survey Quarterly 26 136 148 Google Scholar

Marks, Laura U. (2000) The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press. The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses Google Scholar

Martin, Jean (2013) ‘Landscape, soundscape and taskscape in the films The Hurt Locker (2008), Katalin Varga (2009)’, The New Soundtrack, 3 (2), pp.123–136. Landscape, soundscape and taskscape in the films The Hurt Locker (2008), Katalin Varga (2009) The New Soundtrack 3 123 136 Google Scholar

McSorley, Kevin (ed.) (2012) War and the Body: Militarisation, Practice and Experience. London: Routledge. War and the Body: Militarisation, Practice and Experience Google Scholar

Mojab, Shahrzad (2000) ‘Vengeance and Violence: Kurdish Women Recount the War’, Canadian Women Studies, 19 (4), pp.89–94. Vengeance and Violence: Kurdish Women Recount the War Canadian Women Studies 19 89 94 Google Scholar

Mojab, Shahrzad (2004) ‘No Safe Haven: Violence against Women in Iraqi Kurdistan’. In: Giles, Wenona, & Hyndman, Jennifer (eds). Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, pp.108–132. No Safe Haven: Violence against Women in Iraqi Kurdistan Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones 108 132 Google Scholar

Mottahedeh, Negar (2008) Displaced Allegories: Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Displaced Allegories: Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema Google Scholar

Naficy, Hamid (2012) A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 4: The Globalizaing Era, 1984–2010. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press. A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 4: The Globalizaing Era, 1984–2010 Google Scholar

Nelson, Max (2013) ‘Off the Blacklist: The Films of Jan Němec’, Film Comment, 6 November 2013. Available from: http://www.filmcomment.com/blog/jan-nemec/ (Accessed: 1 September 2016). Google Scholar

Projansky, Sarah (2001) Watching Rape: Film and Television in Postfeminist Culture. New York and London: New York University Press. Watching Rape: Film and Television in Postfeminist Culture Google Scholar

Quinlivan, Davina (2012) The Place of Breath in Cinema. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. The Place of Breath in Cinema Google Scholar

Rastegar, Kamran (2015) Surviving Images: Cinema, War and the Middle East. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Surviving Images: Cinema, War and the Middle East Google Scholar

Rutherford, Anne (2013) ‘Film, Trauma and the Enunciated Present’. In: Atkinson, Meera, & Richardson, Michael (eds). Traumatic Affect. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.80–102. Film, Trauma and the Enunciated Present Traumatic Affect 80 102 Google Scholar

Thom, Randy (n.d.) ‘Mixing A Different Box of Chocolates – A Few Notes on Forrest Gump’. Available from: http://filmsound.org/randythom/forrest.htm (Accessed: 30 August 2016). Google Scholar

Turim, Maureen (1989) Flashbacks in Film: Memory and History. New York and London: Routledge. Flashbacks in Film: Memory and History Google Scholar

Williams, Linda (1991) ‘Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess’, Film Quarterly, 44 (4), pp.2–13. Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess Film Quarterly 44 2 13 Google Scholar

Winters, Ben (2008) ‘Corporeality, Musical Heartbeats, and Cinematic Emotion’, Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, 2 (1), pp.3–26. Corporeality, Musical Heartbeats, and Cinematic Emotion Music, Sound, and the Moving Image 2 3 26 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Lovatt, Philippa