Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Sarah Sarzynski

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Megan C Schneider


Acting as an audiovisual vector of catharsis, film has proved an innovative and effective tool in the process of reconstructing collective memory in the aftermath of traumatic events. This thesis focuses on the emergence of filmmakers and their movies in the post-dictatorial periods in Argentina and Chile as both nations sought to confront their violent pasts. A general overview of the process of memory construction is included to provide background for the subsequent analysis of film as a vector of collective memory following trauma. An examination and comparison of various films produced for both domestic and international audiences detail each country’s engagement with the political and cinematic process of dealing with ideas of truth, memory, and identity. Central themes include the reconstruction of the identity of the desaparecidos and the challenges of producing films of a faithful, factual, reconstructive nature that also result in commercial success and appeal.