Restless bodies, buried texts: Sikorski, The General, and the archive
Author: Mroz, Matilda
Source: Studies in Eastern European Cinema, Volume 1, Number 2, July 2010 , pp. 153-165(13)
Abstract:Anna Jadowska's film Genera: Zamach na Gibraltarze/The General: Assassination at Gibraltar (Jadowska 2009) emerged from a wider project undertaken by the Polish television station TVN and historian and journalist Dariusz Baliszewski, who has spent approximately fifteen years investigating the death of General Wadysaw Sikorski. The Polish Commander-in-Chief died in a plane crash in Gibraltar on 4 July 1943, in what Baliszewski believes was a British-Polish-Soviet conspiracy. Baliszewski has never been able to decisively prove his speculations, as many of the pertinent documents are buried in archives. As is clear from the documentary series Genera/The General (Jadowska and Kazen 2009), his investigation continually comes up against traces and copies, and a similar logic of simulation penetrates the very heart of his theory of Sikorski's death. What Baliszewski encounters on the level of historical investigation, the film and documentary series continue on the level of form, as the historical reconstructions copy the archival footage, digital manipulation copies photographic indexicality, and the split screens fracture a coherent perspective into multiple visions. Despite the commercial and postmodern associations of Jadowska's film, however, I argue that her aesthetics of fracture, lacuna and invention not only remain true to the incompleteness of our knowledge concerning Sikorski's death, but are also sensitive to the uncertainty and creativity of historical work in general. Her film's restless physical bodies and agitated cinematic framings also resonate in fascinating ways with the fate of Sikorski's body after his death, which underwent several burials and exhumations.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of Cambridge.
Publication date: July 1, 2010
- In the years since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the political changes of 1989/90, there has been a growing interest in the cinemas of the former countries of the Eastern Bloc. There is a growing community of scholars, including a number of students working for post-graduate qualifications, who are engaged with film but also media, culture, and art (of one form or another) from the region. This is not a community existing on the margins of academia but one which is nationally and internationally recognised for the centrality and high quality of its scholarship. Studies in Eastern European Cinema provides a dynamic, innovative, regular, specialised peer-reviewed academic outlet and discursive focus for the world-wide community of Eastern European film scholars, edited by a board of experienced, internationally recognised experts in the field.
- Editorial Board
- Information for Authors
- Subscribe to this Title
- ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites