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“All My Life I Had to Fight”: Domestic Trauma and Cinephilia in Tyler Perry’s Archive of Feelings

“All My Life I Had to Fight”: Domestic Trauma and Cinephilia in Tyler Perry’s Archive of Feelings

Chapter:
(p.94) Chapter Five “All My Life I Had to Fight”: Domestic Trauma and Cinephilia in Tyler Perry’s Archive of Feelings
Source:
From Madea to Media Mogul
Author(s):
Ben Raphael Sher
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496807045.003.0005

Tyler Perry is the most prominent media personality to make a career out of representing African American women’s experiences with abuse and trauma. Focusing on affects, Ben Raphael Sher closely investigates Perry’s cinematic representations while simultaneously theorizing Perry’s cinephilia, or passionate love of cinema. In making clear the relationship between domestic trauma and cinephilia in the play Madea’s Class Reunion(2003), the film Madea’s Family Reunion(2006), andin Perry’s introduction to The 2006 Black Movie Awards, Sher addresses the widely held suspicion that Perry’s work capitalizes on the traumas of Black women. This chapter complicates these criticisms by suggesting that Perry’s representations of suffering Black women have less to do with a pathological desire to punish Black women and more to do with Perry’s complex fantastical and personal identification with them as a trauma survivor himself. Sher uses Perry’s trauma narratives to articulate a critique of the larger cultural lack of representations of male survivors of abuse.

Keywords:   Cinephilia, Affect, Trauma, Abuse, Black Women, Representation

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