Putting the dead to work: making sense of worker suicide in contemporary French and Francophone Belgian film

O'Shaughnessy, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1167-3214, 2019. Putting the dead to work: making sense of worker suicide in contemporary French and Francophone Belgian film. Studies in French Cinema, 19 (4), pp. 314-334. ISSN 1471-5880

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Abstract

Contemporary French and Francophone Belgian cinema has produced a wave of worker suicides that outdoes even Jean Gabin's repeated cinematic deaths of the later 1930s. This article discusses its significance in the context of neo-liberalism and develops an analytical tool-kit for making sense of it, taking its main theoretical inspirations from Slavoj Žižek's theorisation of violence and Carl Cedeström and Peter Fleming's analysis of worker suicide, but also drawing on Michel Foucault's account of parrhesia as the scandalous living of another life in this life. The article suggests that most of the films considered use the apparently subjective violence of worker suicide to force the unseen violences of neo-liberal labour into view, while only a few move beyond this denunciatory position to probe both what a parrhesiastic exit from neo-liberal labour, a killing of the worker-in-the-self, might look like and all that prevents it.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Studies in French Cinema
Creators: O'Shaughnessy, M.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2019
Volume: 19
Number: 4
ISSN: 1471-5880
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1080/14715880.2018.1493645DOI
674757Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 11 Jul 2018 08:25
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2020 15:03
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34049

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