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Article Title

Resisting Genealogy: Diasporic Grief and Heterosexual Melancholia in the Israeli Films Three Mothers and Late Marriage

Abstract

The article explores the relationships between diaspora and nationalism, heterosexuality and queerness in two Israeli films: Three Mothers (Dina Zvi-Riklis, 2006) and Late Marriage (Dover Koshashvili, 2001). These films reconfigure home as both nation and diaspora outside the heteronormative logics of the family, kinship, and hetero- patriarchal inheritance and genealogy. Although the films are about heterosexual romances, I argue that they offer a radical critique of both national and diasporic narratives that rely on a patrilineal family tree structured by heterosexual marriage and reproduction, and which therefore exclude non-heteronormative sexuality and desire. They expose and challenge the politics of the Oedipal organization and normative kinship systems by deploying modes of melancholia to reimagine and reassemble new forms of desire, identification, pleasure, and belonging to spaces such as home and family, diaspora and nation, which have traditionally denied anti-heteronormative existence. The films link ethnic to heterosexual melancholia and show that the loss of the diasporic past conceals the even deeper and more hidden loss of queer familial sexual ties.

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