Through the “Eye of the Machine”: Poetics of the Inhuman in Andrey Zvyagintsev’s fi lms

Călina PĂRĂU


This paper tries to examine the way in which the “work of narrative” and the question of guilt are played out in the construction of postmodern narratives of the Fall. The visual language of a post-Christian guilt articulated inside the structure of biblical narratives will be analyzed in three of Andrey Zvyagintsev’s films: The Return (2003), Elena (2011) and Leviathan (2014). The mythological aspect of the Real, in these films, will be discussed in relation to the different signifying power it gives to the visual. In Zvyagintsev’s films, the distinction between history and duration opens up the space in which the new myth of a cultural fall is formulated by the story of men becoming the story of civilian life.

Keywords: gaze, visual discourse, narrative, inhuman