University of Minnesota Press

Unfolding amid an atmosphere of profound anxiety and disillusionment, the new American war film demonstrates a breakdown of the prevailing cultural narratives that had come to characterize conflict in the previous century. In the wake of 9/11, both the nature of military conflict and the symbolic frameworks that surround it have been dramatically reshaped.  

The New American War Film charts society’s shifting attitudes toward violent conflict and what is broadly considered to be its acceptable repercussions. Drawing attention to changes in gender dynamics and the focus on war’s lasting psychological effects within films such as The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, Eye in the Sky, American Sniper, and others, author Robert Burgoyne analyzes how cinema both reflects and reveals the makeup of the national imaginary.

Robert Burgoyne taught film studies for several decades at Wayne State University and at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He is author of seven books including The New American War Film and Film Nation: Hollywood Looks at U.S. History

Kim Nelson is the Director of the Humanities Research Group and an Associate Professor at the University of Windsor in Canada. Her films have been screened internationally at film festivals and by broadcasters in Canada and the US. She is co-editor of The Routledge Companion to History and the Moving Image and author of Making History Move: Five Principles of the Historical Film.

The Hurt Locker (2008)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Spanish–American War films of Thomas Edison’s 1898-99 series
Eye in the Sky (2015)
Restrepo (2010)
American Sniper (2014)
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
A Private War (2018)
Platoon (1986)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Restrepo (2010 film)
Infidel (2010 photo series)
Into the Korengal (2010 photo series)
Sleeping Soldiers—single screen (2009 short video, Tim Hetherington)

Fredric Jameson
Homer/The Iliad
Thomas Elsaesser on “productive pathology”

-Robert Burgoyne's The New American War Film and Film Nation are available from University of Minnesota Press.

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