Christian Delage and Peter Goodrich (eds.)
The Scene of the Mass Crime: History, Film, and International Tribunals, Routledge, New York, 2013, 227 pp.
The Scene of the Mass Crime takes up the unwritten history of the peculiar yet highly visible form of war crimes trials. These trials are the first and continuing site of the interface of law, history and film. From Nuremberg to the contemporary trials in Cambodia, film, in particular, has been crucial both as evidence of atrocity and as the means of publicizing the proceedings. But what does film bring to justice? Can law successfully address war crimes, atrocities, genocide? What do the trials actually show? What form of justice is done, and how does it relate to ordinary courts and proceedings? What lessons can be drawn from this history for the very topical political issue of filming civil and criminal trials? This book takes up the diversity and complexity of these idiosyncratic and, in strict terms, generally extra-legal medial situations. Drawing on a fascinating diversity of public trials and filmic responses, from the Trial of the Gang of Four to the Gacaca local courts of Rwanda to the filmic symbolism of 9-11, from Soviet era show trials to Nazi People's Courts leading international scholars address the theatrical, political, filmic and symbolic importance of show trials in making history, legitimating regimes and, most surprising of all, in attempting to heal trauma through law and through film. These essays will be of considerable interest to those working on international criminal law, transitional justice, genocide studies, and the relationship between law and film.
Introduction/ Christian Delage and Peter Goodrich
Part 1 History, trauma, war crimes
1.`Historical trials': getting the past right-or the future? / Pieter Lagrou
2.Building the narrative: the UN Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone / William A. Schabas
3.Competitive narratives: an incident at the Papon trial / Henry Rousso
4.Gacaca courts in Rwanda: a local justice for a local genocide history? / Helene Dumas
Part 2 Show trials
5.The raion trials in the USSR (1937-1938) / Nicolas Werth
6.The trial of the "Gang of Four": visibility and invisibility of the Cultural Revolution / Anne Kerlan
7.The Nazi People's Court (1944) or the failure of "total justice" / Johann Chapoutot
8.The Majdanek trial: the Holocaust on trial on film: Kazimierz Czynski's Swastyka i Szubienica (1945) / Stuart Liebman
Part 3 Khmer Rouge on trial
9.The psychological evaluation of Duch, a criminal against humanity in Cambodia / Francoise Sironi
10.Pleading guilty before the international criminal courts: the case of Duch before the Khmer Rouge tribunal / Francois Roux
11.The place and participation of the victims in Duch's trial / Brice Poirier
Part 4 Visual memory
12.Visualizing "the other 9/11": memory of the Chilean coup / Constance Ortuzar
13.Hollywood: pre-visualization and post-9/11 style? / Vincent Dozol
14.Visualizing 9/11 / Christian Delage
Portfolio: 9/11 visual memories / Richard Sherwin.
Christian Delage is a professor at the University of Paris 8. He also teaches at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales and at Sciences Po Paris, and is a regular professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Peter Goodrich is Professor of Law and Director of the Program in Law and Humanities, Cardozo School of Law, New York. He has authored ten books on legal theory, psychoanalysis, law and the visual.