Reality and Paternity in the Cinema of the Dardennes

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Isabella Guanzini


The Dardennes’ filmic production aims at restoring the missing link between human beings and the world that have been progressively undermined during the ultimate development of late-capitalist society. This contribution deals with their search for a new contact with reality and a concrete belief in the world, focusing on the theme of body and paternity, in the epoch of their evaporation. In order to rethink the paternal function in a post-political and post-ideological age, however, the Dardennes have had to radically come to terms with its ambiguity and oscillation between abandon and adoption, self-preservation and transmission, forgiveness and revenge. With regard to this ambivalence, this contribution focuses on The Promise and The Son, which represent significant descriptions of what (the body of) a father is capable of, suggesting, at the same time, interruption and filiation as possible experiences for a new beginning.

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Articles - CfP topic
Author Biography

Isabella Guanzini, University of Vienna

Post-Doc Fellow

Research Platform "Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society"