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Heterogeneity and Justice: Borders and Communities in Angelopoulos's Eternity and a Day

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This paper discusses questions of borders, communities, and refugees through an examination of the work of film director Theo Angelopoulos, in particular his so‐called “Balkan trilogy,” which includes Eternity and a Day. In these films, Angelopoulos looks at the nature of borders and communities and at what they do to people in general and refugees in particular. I argue that the refugees cannot be placed in any straightforward fashion according to the logics of political sovereignty and national divisions. They are a heterogeneous excess from the constitution of borders and divisions, yet by making visible this heterogeneity, Angelopoulos shows the contingency of political and national borders. As a consequence, the critique of the injustices resulting from existing borders must start from what is heterogeneous to them. Only in this way is it possible to transform existing structures. However, this does not mean that politics should aim simply at the elimination of borders and exclusion. Rather, we must accept the ineradicability of borders and exclusion while contesting any particular ones.

Keywords: Angelopoulos; Borders; Europe; Exclusion; Heterogeneity; Immigration

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2005

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