6    The ethics of remembering

Little Big Man and the exonerationof American guilt

James Aston

Introduction: the Western as American history

Andre Bazin reinvigorated the cultural form of the Western by declaring that it was ‘the American cinema par excellence’ (Lovell 1976: 166). For Bazin, the Western expressed ‘evocations of the birth of the United States of America’ (Bazin 1973: 14) that forged not only a worldwide appreciation of its composition, but also articulated the core elements of cinema in an epic form that spoke persuasively about American identity, memory of the past and the embattled and protean nature of American national and political consciousness. Therefore, the West, or more specifically the Western Frontier, acted as a ...

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