The Truth In Walter Benjamin's Diary Of The Dead

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Our society lives in a culture that is obsessed with failure. This obsession is partly caused by ourselves through our creations such as media. Although many zombie apocalypse films are predictable, George Romero went outside of the box and created a unique zombie film where the main threat is behind the camera. The story of Diary of the Dead (DOTD) is a film within a film. In the DOTD, the character of Jason claims to be filming “the truth”. Notably, a philosopher named Walter Benjamin wrote an essay called “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” he explained that the works of art are possessed of an aura that makes them legitimate. Jason’s claim to aura is “truth”. How does the film treat this claim? Before discussing DOTD it’s important to understand what aura is. Benjamin describes aura as mystifying a process, “We define the aura of the later as the unique phenomenon of a distance, however close it may be. If, while resting on a summer afternoon, you follow with your eyes a mountain range on the horizon or a branch which casts its shadow over you, you experience the aura of those mountains, of that branch” (222-3) This example, Benjamin uses is significant because he tells us that the aura of the mountains seems to resign on something free from…show more content…
By doing so, he captured what he claims as “the truth”. Although Jason recorded everything his girlfriend Debra narrated all of it and she claimed it was his dream to make a documentary. In the beginning of the film Debra questions why he’s recording this, and in response he says, “If this turns out to be a big thing I just want to record it”. It’s as if Jason felt that if he didn’t record it, it never happened. By recording every second of the zombie apocalypse, Jason’s belief was that it’ll inform the rest of the world on what’s actually going on. His aura of truth becomes a work of
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