Llamas-Rodriguez develops a “cinema of slow violence” as a framework for apprehending and critically assessing depictions of violence in film about narcotrafficking. Extending Rob Nixon's conception of slow violence, a cinema of slow violence proposes an orientation towards figuring violence in forms that use the distinct medium affordances of cinema. The author contests Nixon's assumption that cinematic depictions of violence will necessarily be spectacular by analyzing cinematic depictions of slow violence in the film Heli. This is achieved through a focus on cinematic figurations that are not strictly representational but rather avisual or affective. A cinema of slow violence requires an ethical orientation towards acknowledging, or doing something with the knowledge of, slow violence within the phenomenon of narcotrafficking. A cinema of slow violence emerges from the orientation of the filmmaker, the critic, and the audience, as well as the interconnections between each of these.
Toward a Cinema of Slow Violence
Juan Llamas-Rodriguez is Assistant Professor of Transnational Media in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas. His research focuses on media distribution, creative labor, border studies, and Latin American film and television. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Cinema Journal, Feminist Media Histories, Jump Cut, and the Routledge Companion to Risk and Media.
Juan Llamas-Rodriguez; Toward a Cinema of Slow Violence. Film Quarterly 1 March 2018; 71 (3): 27–36. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2018.71.3.27
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