Injustice and humiliation / moral self-assertion

List of scenes



These pathos scenes are founded on the soldier’s return to a self able to make moral judgments.This is shown by reactions to injustice and humiliation experienced within military structures either as a figuration of rage or of feelings of guilt.


They are about insisting on moral standards, self-assertion despite injustice that can not be restituted, that has been suffered or inflicted.The cinematic staging of these figurations makes a specific emotional sensation tangible that articulates the individual experience of identity as a moral relationship to the societal forms of the military and the nation. The return to an independent, individual self-assertion is also characterized by defiantly or accusingly leaving the military line of ancestors

AFFECTIVE DIMENSION  On the one hand, the affective dimension of these pathos scenes contains rage as the transformation of moral judgement into bodily desire and the delight in the corporeal. This desire culminates in the fury, rebellion and explosive rage of the berserker. On the other hand, it contains feelings of guilt as the the consequence of the implication in and a share of the responsibilty for the suffering inflicted upon others by the military/group the soldier is part of and in the emphasis on national/collective identity and responsibility.

The emotional sense of injustice and the range in which the moral self-assertion is acted out - rage, defiance, feelings of guilt - makes three different types of soldierly heroes visible in the cinematic staging:

a) The warrior who can not be resocialized. His return to civilan life is blocked, either because he sacrifices himself for the community, or because he, cinematically conveyed, literally fuses with his desire to fight.

b) The soldier gone berserk, a culmination of the first type, who explicitly stands up against excessive suffering and meaningless injustice as a figuration of furious indignation, rebellion, and finally explosive rage.

c) The founder of a new order who, out of indignation, breaks away from the asexually propagated line of military ancestors. In defiance of the latter he leaves the theater of war as the founder of a new, civilian order.

Apocalypse Now


Band of Brothers - Episode 1: Currahee


Fixed Bayonets

Guadalcanal Diary

    Gung Ho!*

      Objective, Burma!


          Sands of Iwo Jima*

          The Steel Helmet

            Tora! Tora! Tora!

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