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Zizek, S. (2009). “… I Will Move the Underground”: Slavoj Zizek on Udi Aloni's Forgiveness. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 6(1):80-83.

(2009). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 6(1):80-83

“… I Will Move the Underground”: Slavoj Zizek on Udi Aloni's Forgiveness1

Slavoj Zizek

Synopsis of Udi Aloni's Film Forgiveness: A Preface to Slavoj Zizek's “I Will Move the Underground”

A hybrid of realism and fantasy, “Forgiveness” is a psychological examination of the tragedies of the Middle East. David, a young American-Israeli, returns to Israel to join the army, only to find himself in a catatonic state after accidentally shooting a Palestinian girl while on patrol. He is committed to a mental institution which sits on the ruins of a Palestinian village that had been attacked by Israeli forces in 1948. The head psychiatrist offers medication for David's tortured guilt-ridden amnesic withdrawal, while another patient in the hospital, a Holocaust survivor ironically named Muselmann, tries to redeem David by encouraging him to respond to the child ghost that haunts him, to acknowledge his crime and to bear his guilt as a prerequisite for reparation and forgiveness.

Flectere si nequeo Superos, Acheronta movebo.

- Virgil, as quoted by Freud

A short circuit is a condition in which a short electrical path is unintentionally created, causing a power fault — this is what Udi Aloni does in both his book (Forgiveness, or Rolling in the Underworld's Tunnels) and his film Forgiveness, causing a power fault of the ruling liberal attitude by way of short-circuiting between different levels of ideology, art, and thought. Aloni achieves a tremendous poetic power by creating new myths with the perspicuous mind of a cold theoretician, grounding a ruthless critique of Zionism in his unconditional fidelity to the Jewish tradition.

In the present world, what we call the normal state of things has become indistinguishable from the state of emergency. The West is more and more often evoking some figure of fear and then promising us protection from it. This comes at a very high price, because in such a scenario, the rhetoric of fear and emergency attempts to eclipse the act of thinking.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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