The Victimizer-Victim Conflict as Represented in the Foreign Post-War Cinematograph

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The article explores topics of the victimizer-victim conflict as part of the World War II events. Exemplified by films of various filmmakers representing this conflict, the author interprets the relation between the victim and the victimizer in terms of social reflections and examines the role of historical memory, which offers scope for versatile plotting. Dictatorial regimes are a fertile field for toxic relationships in society. Diametrically opposite positions of victimizer and victim hold something that provides a pernicious and unbreakable bond between them. Their dualism is fraught with an inner transformation, an about-face actualizing its devastating effect and urgency in time of peace as well.

Understanding the nature of this paradoxical victimizer-victim relationship and the socio-psychological causes of this dangerous phenomenon provides a more objective insight into this ambiguous situation. Characters who find themselves at the changing point in history and their personal choices are always of great interest. The victims striving for revenge turn into persecutors of their victimizers. All round imaging of the historical time in each film reveals the mental complexity of the characters and renders it impossible to assess the causes of the global tragedy of the past in present-day terms.

The victimizer-victim conflict is analyzed with reference to historical and socio-psychological aspects of the Nazi ideology. The religious and the Freudian ones are out of scope in this paper. A non-conventional, divergent approach to the topic in the films reveals the past reality through the characters taken from life – participants and witnesses of those tragic events. Assessment of the past sheds light on the complex and seemingly defying any logic problematics of the said conflict and allows for understanding its socio-psychological origins and motives, which breaks new ground for screen writers in creating the characters of victimizers and victims.

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Chirkina Maria

преподаватель сценарно-киноведческого факультета ВГИК, член Гильдии сценаристов Союза кинематографистов РФ

S.A.Gerasimov Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK)
, 3, Wilhelm Pik street, 129226 Moscow, Russia

Author for correspondence.


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Copyright (c) 2022 Chirkina M.

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