When is it OK to lie about the past? If history is a story, then everyone knows that the ‘official story’ is told by the winners. No matter what we may know about how the past really happened, history is as it is recorded: this is what George Orwell called doublethink. But what happens to all the lost, forgotten, censored, and disappeared pasts of world history? Cinema Against Doublethink uncovers how a world of cinemas acts as a giant archive of these lost pasts, a vast virtual store of the world’s memories. The most enchanting and disturbing films of recent years – Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives, Nostalgia for the Light, Even the Rain, The Act of Killing, Carancho, Lady Vengeance – create ethical encounters with these lost pasts, covering vast swathes of the planet and crossing huge eras of time. Analysed using the philosophies of Gilles Deleuze (the time-image) and Enrique Dussel (transmodern ethics), the multitudinous cinemas of the world are shown to speak out against doublethink, countering this biggest lie of all with their myriad ‘false’ versions of world history. Cinema, acting against doublethink, remains a powerful agent for reclaiming the truth of history for the ‘post-truth’ era.
Martin-Jones, David. Cinema Against Doublethink: Ethical Encounters with the Lost Pats of World History. Routledge, 2018.