In the Fade: Motherhood, Grief and Neo-Nazi Terrorism in Contemporary Germany

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In Chapter 9, “In the Fade: Motherhood, Grief and Neo-Nazi Terrorism in contemporary Germany,” Elena Caoduro examines the representation of far-right terrorism in German cinema and specifically analyses Fatih Akin’s film, In the Fade (2017), focusing on the blurring of the conventions of the action film and melodrama. The film represents a reflection and reaction to the discovery of a network of far-right terrorists, the National Socialist Underground (NSU), and the presence of Akin’s name in the list of possible targets. Differently from contemporary films about terrorism which take the perspective of the perpetrators, investigating their motivations, or those fighting terrorism, Akin shifts the attention to the victims and survivors of terrorist violence proposing a visceral portrayal of grief and revenge. Caoduro explores Diane Kruger’s performance as Katja, a bereaved widow and mother whose family is assassinated in a xenophobic bomb attack. Following the tripartite subdivision of the film in chapters, In the Fade articulates how environment of survival (the domestic space, the institutional space of the courthouse, and the landscape of Greece) produces a social space where motherhood, grief and violence are intertwined. Caoduro concludes that this consideration of spatial politics adds a productive perspective to the study of representation of traumatized survivors, since power and gender relations are often negotiated through space and embedded through setting.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMediated Terrorism in the 21st Century
EditorsElena Caoduro, Karen Randell, Karen A. Ritzenhoff
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • terrorism
  • grief
  • trauma
  • German cinema
  • transnational
  • motherhood
  • gender
  • space


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