Rincón, M. (María) del; Cuevas, E. (Efrén); Torregrosa, M. (Marta). "The representation of personal memory in Alan Berliner’s First Cousin Once Removed". Studies in Documentary Film. 12 (1), 2017-11-21, - 16
This article intends to analyze the representation of personal memory in Alan Berliner’s film First Cousin Once Removed. The film serves as an innovative proposal in the filmic representation of personal memory, going beyond the most obvious topic of the film – the biography of Berliner’s second uncle, suffering from Alzheimer’s – and presenting us with a study of personal memory through the use of cinematic language. After a brief overview of how personal memory is represented in cinema, we first examine the film’s thematic lines and narrative structure, proceeding afterwards to a closer analysis of its representation of the most relevant features of personal memory: subjectivity, complex temporality and performativity. Berliner explores these features in the film with insight: he emphasizes the subjective/autobiographical nature of memory work; he frames his portrait of Edwin Honig within complex temporal coordinates, where the past and present become indiscernible; and builds a self-reflexive film that emphasizes the performative character of memory and of its filmic representation.