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Cinema Pessimism – A Political Theory of Representation and Reciprocity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Cinema Pessimism: A Political Theory of Representation and Reciprocity

Joshua Foa Dienstag


Cinema Pessimism uses the medium of film to explore the dilemmas of democratic representation. When is representation an aid to democracy, and when is it an obstacle? Why are democratic populations so perpetually dissatisfied with their representatives? An exploration of film representation gives us a unique standpoint from which to answer these and other questions. Representation contains dangers for democracy, including its ability to foster illusions of power and freedom in a citizenry rather than genuine autonomy. Film itself can be a powerful political narcotic, suppressing rather than ex ... More

Keywords: film, democracy, representation, political theory, democratic theory, pessimism, reciprocity, narrative, time, freedom

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190067717
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190067717.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joshua Foa Dienstag, author
Professor of Political Science, UCLA