History & Memory

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History, a struggle over the past in the present to shape the future, is an exploration of the causal relationships between individuals and events. History has always been contested terrain, due to the fact that history is established through individual and collective memories, which by nature are subjective and coloured by circumstance. In the post modern era, the conventional ways of thinking which dismiss memory due to its bias have been challenged, and the credibility of history has been diminished by literature which explores how both history and memory can be essential to any construction of the past.

Through their representation of history and memory, ………explore the nature of each individual concept and their interconnectedness in establishing the past. A plethora of film techniques are employed by both directors in order to represent the importance of memory in establishing the personal dimension of history, the relevance of trivial historical accuracies in constructing a representation of history and the process by which memory can reshape and colour historical events.

Memory gives history a third dimension of individual emotion and personal experience to documented history that is necessary in understanding the historical value and meaning of both the past and the present. It is not historical truth alone that allows one to gain a universal understanding of an event or person, but rather the interrelationship of the factual history and the personal and collective memories. Becker explores the importance of memory in accounting for the personal experience of history in Good Bye Lenin! . When the Berlin wall falls, Becker uses montage and dialogue to suggest the limitations of the former German Democratic Republic and also represent new found freedom and the ability to experience new things on a personal level. The protagonist’s sister, Arianne, is featured in this montage trying out different cultural activities such as belly dancing and...
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