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Ideology as Wound: AReading of Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days


  • John DIXON

    (University of Lincoln)

  • Catherine REDPATH

    () (University of Lincoln)


Traumatic experience is as old as human experience, but since the ‘terror attacks’, cultural theorists have begun to problematise the nature of trauma itself. “Trauma” in psychoanalysis, refers to the violent creation of a traumatic wound, and the uncontrollable, repetitive effects of that wound. The traumatised subject is condemned to repeatedly attempt to express and articulate the traumatic event in a vain effort to attain psychic catharsis. It is widely argued that this trauma cannot be articulated in language, thus psychological catharsis can never be attained. This paper will argue diametrically against the construction of such psychoanalytic discourses surrounding trauma. We suggest that articulation of trauma in a cultural artefact such as film, may be presented and represented in the codification of the physical body. We will illustrate this with a reading of Cristian Mungiu’s award winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days which associates the suffering of the physical body with the traumatic historical experience of the Romanian people under Ceausescu’s regime. This paper asserts that the cultural industries have a responsibility to tell, testify, and remind the body politic of the past. Received knowledge about trauma decrees that trauma cannot be articulated, we however, will argue that the body politic is expressed through the focalisation of the physical body thereby rendering the silence audible.

Suggested Citation

  • John DIXON & Catherine REDPATH, 2010. "Ideology as Wound: AReading of Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," Revista Romana de Jurnalism si Comunicare - Romanian Journal of Journalism and Communication, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Journalism and Communication Studies – Universitatea din Bucuresti, Facultatea de Jurnalism si Stiintele Comunicarii, issue 1, pages 49-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:foj:journl:y:2010:i:1:p:49-56

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    More about this item


    Trauma theory; subjectivity; memory; representation; the body; ideology;

    JEL classification:

    • Y8 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines


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