Caché and Truth in Histories

In A Book of Common Prayer, some of the characteristics that the narrator attributes to Charlotte are those of believing that revolutions “always turned out right” and of always having “arranged her days to [avoid the backward glance]” (61, 96). This made me think of the different ways that revolutions and conflicts are remembered, depending on the person at hand (and, often by extension, their culture). This is a trailer for the film Caché, which uses flashback scenes to show—piece by piece—an emerging understanding of what really happened in a key moment of childhood jealousy, in contrast to what the main character is initially willing to remember about what he did in his youth. Beyond the direct plot of the movie, this situation also parallels the French memory of the Paris massacre of 1961: the number of Algerians killed is still not known with certainty, but the fact that any massacre indeed occurred was only recently acknowledged. In this way, the film explores the different versions of events that can be recorded as truth, depending upon the community charged with remembering for the supposed history books.

This article is an opinion piece, but I thought it actually gave a helpful amount of historical background for the massacre: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/19/hollande-massacre-algerian-protesters-1961

– Lindsay

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