Flood, MG (2019) The Very Worst Things: Vulnerability and Violence in Djamila Sahraoui's Yema (2012). Studies in French Cinema, 19 (3). pp. 246-264. ISSN 1471-5880

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This article explores the connections between vulnerability, gender and terrorist violence, drawing on Algerian filmmaker Djamila Sahraoui’s Yema (2012). The film will first be situated in relation to Sahraoui’s oeuvre, and within a wider context of debates around the changing nature of political violence and its representation in Maghrebi, Hollywood and European cinema. This comparison underlines Yema’s innovatory formal and thematic focus on slow narrative time, sparse aesthetics, and fragile, intimate images. The article then examines the concept of vulnerability in relation to terrorism, in particular linking Sahraoui’s choice of formal techniques to the film’s thematic staging of various modes of physical and psychical vulnerability to violence. Finally, the allegorical and mythological motifs used in Yema will be considered in relation to the gendering of the figures of victim and agent in both the film and wider cultural imaginaries of political violence. Finally, the article shows how Sahraoui offers a feminist reconfiguration of the myths of Medea and Antigone, discussing the relation between maternity, the nation, and the state in the Algerian context, suggesting that, in the film’s dramatization of a mother who inflicts suffering, larger questions are raised about personal and political responses to the feelings of exposure that terrorist violence engenders.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) will be available online via Taylor & Francis at https://doi.org/10.1080/14715880.2018.1511182 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Yema, violence, Algerian Civil War, Algerian film, gender, vulnerability, myth, mother
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV6431 Terrorism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2018 11:10
Last Modified: 11 May 2020 01:30
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/5209

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