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Bibil Identifier bibil:202373
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) The Big Sleep: Strategic Ambiguity in Judges 4-5 and in Classic film noir
Author Christianson, Eric S.
Journal Biblical Interpretation (Volume: 15, Issue: 4-5)
Year (Publication) 2007
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2007
Year (Copyright) 2007
Year (Reference) 2007
Year (Second publication) 2007
Language English
Pages 519-548 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract Ambiguity is a driving force of the narrative world of film noir. It is expressed through unconventional characterization as well as innovative and excessive visual and narrative techniques. Through all of the gaps and unanswered questions film noir poses, viewers are engaged in an intellectually demanding process. The book of Judges makes similar demands of its readers and shares a number of the concerns found in film noir, such as: anxiety over constructs of masculinity and normality, interest in ritualized violence, fetishization of women, existential deliberation over character, resignation to the fate of the individual (and by extension the nation), withering acknowledgment of the façade of material progress—all expressed with indeterminate narrative modes that frustrate attempts at making meaning. My argument in particular is that film noir and the Jael episode (Judg. 4; 5:24-31) share a remarkably similar rhetoric of ambiguity, and that examination of their correspondences, by an evidence-based comparison, can lead to fruitful hypothesis regarding the social context from which the Judges stories emerged.
DOI 10.1163/156851507X230296
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : History of Canaan-Israel : Periods : Origins : Premonarchical Period : Judges
Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Cinema
Last modification 2017-10-27