Enemies of the state(s): cultural memory, cinema, and the Iraq War

Gehrmann, Richard (2017) Enemies of the state(s): cultural memory, cinema, and the Iraq War. In: Memory and the wars on terror: Australian and British perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., Houndmills, United Kingdom, pp. 69-89. ISBN 978-3-319-56975-8


Nearly 17,000 Australians served in Iraq, but memories of this experience are far removed from the film and television representations such as American Sniper (2014), The Hurt Locker (2008), and Generation Kill (2008). For most Australians in Iraq the war was not one of constant fighting, and their marginal role caused angst for some Australian soldiers expecting to undertake direct combat action. Australians at home had few realistic frames of reference regarding war and soldiers, other than film. Many US films have been made about the war in Iraq; some of these have achieved distribution success in Australia and have been absorbed by Australian audiences. Yet these cinematic images watched by Australians were US-made, were about Americans and explored a US experience of war. This might have resonated and been appropriate for a US society that was intimately connected with this conflict, but was not appropriate for an Australia whose military role in Iraq was peripheral. Australian memories were less visceral and heroic, and the distorted cinematic images contribute to the ongoing dissonance and an unrealistic representation of Australia’s Iraq War.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2017 04:45
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2018 03:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: war; memory; film; war on terror; Iraq; military history
Fields of Research : 21 History and Archaeology > 2199 Other History and Archaeology > 219999 History and Archaeology not elsewhere classified
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160604 Defence Studies
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200212 Screen and Media Culture
Socio-Economic Objective: A Defence > 81 Defence > 8101 Defence > 810102 Army
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-56976-5_4
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33438

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