Cinema and Suicide: Necromanticism, Dead-already-ness and the Logic of the Vanishing point

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This article explores fiction film’s limited but highly symbolic representation of suicide, of, that is, an individual’s witting or self-willed self-killing. In doing so, it distinguishes mainstream cinema’s mortal economies. These, the death-dealing visual and narrative logic of film itself, depend on the interplay of identity and power, of—more immediately—gender, nation, and race. This complex interplay is animated here through an analysis of Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (1999) and Hany Abu-Assad’s Oscar-nominated film Paradise Now (2005) and comes to determine my identification of mainstream cinema as necropolitical.


Original languageEnglish
JournalCinema journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • cinema, suicide, Culture