Hollywood, public threat and designers of narrative trends. Popular fiction and political discourse in the wake of 9/11


  • Antonio Sánchez-Escalonilla


After the 9/11 attacks, Hollywood has experienced a renewal of trends in popular genres of drama, especially in the traditional master plots of invasion and catastrophe. This phenomenon has allowed directors and screenwriters to propose reflections on latent fear in a society that tends to fuel the danger of civil psychosis. Drawing on the films of Steven Spielberg since 2001, this paper outlines an analysis of social panic as a key element of narrative and reflection, through the director’s filmic stories about the civil threat. In this very sense, this article examines the narrations of filmmakers such as M. Night Shyamalan and Frank Darabont who, along with Spielberg, are considered three reference points in the filmic treatment of social panic through the genres of fantasy and science-fiction. The reflection keys managed by these story-tellers could be summarized on issues such as the conflict between national security and civil liberties, the risk of xenophobia and entrenchment, and the consequences of preventive war.


Cinema, 9/11, terrorism, risk perception, audience, xenophobia




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