During the interwar years, images of dead infantrymen rising from the grave were designed as a reminder to the French nation of the suffering and sacrifice of the armed forces and of the army in particular during the war and of the debt that the civilian population owed to its dead. Examining three French films of the interwar years and the battlefield memorials of Verdun, this article studies the passage from a carnivalesque and subversive use of the grotesque to images that suggest the redemptive value of sacrifice through the equation of the infantryman’s suffering with that of Christ. In both cases, the wounded or decaying body of the soldier is central to articulating, asserting and consolidating war veterans’ claims for both moral and political authority in the post-war era.
|Translated title of the contribution||Raising the dead: visual representations of the combatant’s body in interwar France|
|Pages (from-to)||159 - 174|
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Journal of War and Culture Studies|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2008|