Cinema and Prosthetic Memory: The Case of the Korean War

Judith Keene


This paper assesses the explanatory possibilities of the concept of prosthetic memory, with cinema as the enabler of popular understanding, when applied to the Korean War. The essay examines why it was that the conflict in Korea for many decades occupied a memory void and whether the explanations that have been offered for other similar “forgotten “wars are useful in relation to Korea. The analysis sugggests that cinema may be important in the formation of popular understanding but that there are serious analytical drawbacks in assuming that cinema can provide a window into popular mentalities.


cinema; Korean War; memory; historical memory; national narratives; veterans

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