Post-9/11 Cinema

Through a Lens Darkly

By (author) John Markert

Hardback - £64.00

Publication date:

05 August 2011

Length of book:

392 pages


Scarecrow Press

ISBN-13: 9780810881341

In contemporary society, cinema has become a primary way in which people gain knowledge about events taking place in the world. Films often go beyond news reports by showing in-depth, behind-the-scenes footage, whether in a documentary or recreated in fictional features. More than fleeting scenes of events shown on the nightly news, a film can influence people's feelings about war and what our political leaders should do about it. This has certainly been the case since the attack on 9/11 and the subsequent incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Post-9/11 Cinema: Through a Lens Darkly, John Markert takes a close look at the films depicting these events. Covering cinematic portrayals of 9/11 and the attacks that followed, this book examines both dramas and documentaries that depict what some have termed "Bush's war," as well as rebuttal films, films about terrorist activities, and films seen from the vantage point of journalists and military personnel. Post-9/11 Cinema not only shows how motion pictures reflect societal values but also how such works can influence social attitudes and thus promote change. In addition, Markert appraises the film industry and critiques how images are manipulated to sway the viewer to appreciate the side being advocated.

Examining such dramas as The Messenger, Stop-Loss, The Lucky Ones, In the Valley of Elah, and The Hurt Locker, as well as documentaries including Fahrenheit 9/11, Soldiers of Conscience, and Taxi to the Dark Side, Post-9/11 Cinema is a valuable read for professors of media and mass communication, popular culture, and film studies, as well as cultural sociologists.
Films can both reflect and shape social values. Markert (sociology, Cumberland Univ.) examines over 200 films depicting American concerns after the 9/11 attacks. In the first few years, films tended to focus on the attacks themselves and on America's enemies. By 2004, post 9/11 films—both dramatic and documentary—looked at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well, and were more critical of American actions abroad and Bush administration policies. Working from his sociological approach, Markert also provides an overview of American films since World War II that have been related to issues of war and security. This volume does not focus specifically on the details of 9/11 itself, but will be of interest to readers interested in cultural, communication, or film studies.