of the past decade have dramatically rewritten the American national
narrative, bringing to light an alternate history of nation, marked
since the country’s origins by competing geopolitical interests,
by mobility and migration, and by contending ethnic and racial groups.
| In this revised and expanded edition of Film Nation,
Robert Burgoyne analyzes films that give shape to the counternarrative
that has emerged since 9/11—one that challenges the traditional
myths of the American nation-state.
films examined here, Burgoyne argues, reveal the hidden underlayers of
nation, from the first interaction between Europeans and Native
Americans (The New World), to the clash of ethnic groups in nineteenth-century New York (Gangs of New York), to the haunting persistence of war in the national imagination (Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima) and the impact of the events of 9/11 on American identity (United 93 and World Trade Center).
Film Nation provides innovative readings of attempts by such directors
as Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and Oliver Stone to visualize
historical events that have acquired a mythical aura in order to open
up the past to the contemporary moment.
Hollywood Looks at U.S. History
by Robert Burgoyne
University of Minnesota Press,