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Contributed by Michael Richardson on 07/25/2012
Michael Richardson (Modern Languages and Literatures) published an essay entitled "Vengeful Violence: Inglourious Basterds, Allohistory, and the Inversion of Victims and Perpetrators" in the anthology, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds: A Manipulation of Metacinema, edited by Robert von Dassanowsky.
This essay locates Tarantino’s film within two larger generic contexts: alternate history narratives that focus on the death of Hitler, and war films of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and argues that the film not only uncritically engages the audience in revenge fantasies that replicate the appeal of a violent fascist aesthetics, but the dubious righteousness of the protagonists (coded as former victims) allows them to circumvent moral restrictions, undermining precisely those moral and ethical standards that are seen as distinguishing Nazi from victim.
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