The child witness and cultural memory in European war cinema | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1740-8296
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0918



Historians and cultural theorists have recognized the power of cinema to provide narratives that give shape and coherence to the past. The trope of the child witness has had a particular provenance in European cinema that has chronicled war and trauma. This article tracks the ways in which the device has been employed and re-employed since World War II, chronicling the social and psychological legacies of war violence: in Europe and in Italy after World War II; in Spain during the early years of the Franco dictatorship; and in Spanish cinema after three decades of democracy.


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