Policing Traumatized Boundaries of Self and Nation:
Undocumented Labor in Blade Runner

Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture (1900-present), Fall 2006, Volume 5, Issue 2

Anil Narine
Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada

Fear, revulsion, and horror were the emotions which the
big-city crowd aroused in those who first observed it.
-Walter Benjamin, Illuminations

I. Introduction

When Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was released in 1982, American, and especially Californian, industry was in the midst of a recession that affected nearly every industrialized nation. Following the 1979 jump in oil prices, the second major increase in five years, industrial production around the globe dropped between 5 and 10 percent, a trajectory that did not cease until 1983 (Veenhoven and Hagenaars 2). Since the early 1970s, American industries, especially the manufacturing sector, had been relying upon methods of “flexible accumulation” that allowed them to compete globally by repealing some of American workers’ rights and unionized power, and by exploiting budding labor markets in Southeast Asia and Mexico. In the decade following the prosperous 1960s, America’s global position as the lone, victorious economic powerhouse, along with the middle class livelihoods its economy supported, were challenged and both the American working and middle classes felt the threat. Japan and Germany, whose economies were strong by the late sixties, forced American “corporations into a period of rationalization, restructuring, and intensification of labor control" in an effort to lower production costs (Harvey 145). This restructuring of traditional labor processes angered workers, especially those whose jobs had been relocated or made contractual, in keeping with the need for a flexible labor force. Although workers on the factory floor or in the service industries were the most immediately affected, these changes also weighed heavily on the minds of middle class managers who became acutely aware of workers’ grievances as the 1980-82 recession wore on, and increasingly apprehensive about the possibility of vengeful workers rising up. Thus, in California, members of the working class felt threatened by new, cheaper labor forces and lost many of their hard-won rights, along with the sense of security these maintained. Members of the American middle class, however, were far from immune; as they bore witness to the unenviable plight of their blue-collar counterparts, they also feared joining them – a “fear of falling,” as Barbara Ehrenreich phrased it, from their positions of precarious privilege that Blade Runner both registers and, problematically, elicits. This fear is intensified by an arguably racist mise-en-scene that depicts Los Angeles in the year 2019 as an urban wasteland overrun by largely squalid, multicultural masses who represent, along with the humanoid invaders, the new face of California’s working class. These crowds, I suggest, invoke “fear” and “revulsion” in viewers because they seem poised to engulf our white, middle class protagonist, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who himself fears joining these “little people” (Fancher 4).

Based loosely on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1969), Blade Runner is also a reworking of Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and other incarnations of the Prometheus myth, which dramatizes the insurrection and revenge of fabricated humanoid laborers who are exploited and then abandoned by their capitalist creators. The horror and suspense of the film rely on the threat posed by four such “replicants” who vanquish their unlucky bosses in an off-world, forced-labor, mining colony and survive the journey back to Los Angeles (as opposed to the novel’s San Francisco setting). There, they want only to confront their creators, to lodge a grievance over the unfair conditions in which they must live and work, and to find out how to lengthen their four-year lifespans. The replicants represent colonial slaves in the world of the film, which is replete with references to colonies, mutinies, and “skin jobs,” a term for the replicants which Deckard’s voiceover equates with the racial slur, “nigger,” found only in history books. And yet, as invaders whose very presence in California is illegal, the incoming replicants can also be read as undocumented immigrant workers whose ambitions are linked uneasily with those of the mysterious Mexican detective, Gaff (Edward James Olmos), who exhibits sympathies for the replicants even though he is gunning for Deckard’s job killing them. Although Blade Runner has been widely read as a postmodernist pastiche of film noir and science fiction genres that questions the distinction between “human and non-human (artificial) intelligence” (Tasker 225), a major element of the narrative has received less scrutiny: namely, the way the colonial subplot allegorizes middle class anxieties about vengeful workers rising up and demanding answers from their superiors, and working class fears about being replaced by ambitious immigrants, whose invasion the borders and “security fences” (as they are called in the film) can no longer prevent.

II. Surveillance and the Optics of Power

The chief method of border patrol deployed in the film to combat the invading replicant workers is telling since it takes the form of visual scrutiny. Given that Los Angeles, as it is depicted, is home to every conceivable ethnic group, and numerous artificial life forms, the replicant invaders – all Caucasian – blend right in. An elaborate method of scrutiny is thus required to locate them amid the crowds. The Voight Kampff test, which determines the presence or absence of the subject’s humanity by examining the fluctuation of its retina when certain emotions are elicited, serves this function in the film, which opens with a scene in which the test is administered. The device is clearly represented as a futuristic relative of much older methods of scrutiny, such as photography, which came to “play a central and complicitous role in…the articulation of race and racial differences” in nineteenth-century, colonial anthropology (Green 31). Like colonial photography, which was used to demonstrate anatomical inferiority, criminality, and barbarity, the Voight Kampff test establishes “a normalising gaze, a surveillance that makes it possible to qualify, to classify and to punish” (Foucault 25). The gaze of the Blade Runner detectives in the film initially functions in this way, since their techniques of observation are a means of distinguishing, judging, and ultimately condemning the undocumented invaders.

Eyes are one of the most prominent images in Blade Runner. The film opens with a skyline shot of a polluted Los Angeles at dusk, but quickly, the screenplay tells us, the “camera moves into a window in the large pyramid-shaped building. A man is sitting at a table. Another man enters the room and sits down. The following scene is reflected in the eye until Holden is seated. The eye is magnified and deeply revealed…The eye is brown in a tiny screen. On a metallic screen below, the words Voight Kampff are finely etched” (Fancher 1). Holden (Morgan Paull) is a Blade Runner. The eye in which he is reflected belongs to Leon (Brion James), who may be a replicant. Setting the tone for the various modes of detection and surveillance that follow, the film thus opens with the administration of a computerized eye exam. It is one of many ironies in the film that humans must rely on machines to assess the danger posed by machines; and people even use machines to assess their own humanity. The Voight Kampff machine nonetheless itemizes anatomical differences with a high degree of certainty and if the subject is deemed deviant and inhuman, it is executed, or forcefully “retired” to use the euphemism of the future.

Surveillance and differentiation are instrumental in policing the porous borders of selfhood. According to Rey Chow, “visuality determines the nature of the social object” to the extent that “the production of the West’s ‘others’ depends on a logic of visuality that bifurcates ‘subjects’ and ‘objects’ into the incompatible positions of intellectuality and spectacularity” (60). Chow’s subjects, like Green’s colonial anthropologists and Blade Runner’s detectives, are thinkers, the possessors and wielders of knowledge whose gaze is active and operative. The objects of the gaze, according to the power structures to which Chow refers, must only have knowledge produced about them, all the better to control them. They function best as objects if they are seen but not heard from. That is, they are their bodies, designed in Blade Runner for mining, military, and “pleasure” services. As the Blade Runner, Holden, administers the test, he feels confident in his superior knowledge; the gauges, meters and dials on his Voight Kampff machine will ostensibly tell him all he needs to know about the seemingly nervous Leon, whose retina is grotesquely magnified on the machine’s monitor. The screenplay contains telling stage directions as the detective begins his inquiry:

[Holden smiles a patronizing smile.]
Holden: You’re in a desert walking along when…you look down and see a tortoise. It’s crawling toward you…
Leon: A tortoise. What’s that?
Holden: Know what a turtle is?
Leon: Of course.
Holden: Same thing.
Leon: I never seen a turtle. [He sees Holden’s patience is wearing thin.] But I understand what you mean. (Fancher 3)

Holden and Leon, the upholder and the violator of the law, appear to be playing out a traditional scene of interrogation, which affirms the subject’s knowledge (evidenced by his patronizing smile) and the object’s naiveté, in this case about the natural world. But the power relationship is not what it seems; in fact, it is a charade that embodies a disturbing process of identification. That is, the threatening notion that the policeman may have misidentified his suspect – that he may have identified with him as another human – looms uneasily beneath the apparent banality of the words exchanged. Leon, who has cleverly infiltrated the Tyrell Corporation that created him by posing as a janitor (aligning him with the working class) is far from naive. Rather, he is playing a cruel game with his interrogator, stalling Holden’s efforts to discover what he inevitably will. Holden’s sense of patronizing control over those he is employed to identify and segregate is, then, also false. When “the needles in the computer barely move,” Holden knows he has identified an inhuman life form (Fancher 4). But by the time he reaches for his gun, “Leon is faster,” shooting him repeatedly in a shocking display of speed (Fancher 4). Holden has failed in his inferences, or perhaps, ironically, because of his all too human reaction time. Although he had been studying the movements of the malicious “object” of his gaze, that object had been returning his gaze – and perhaps with more skill and sharper reflexes.

III. Trauma as a Narrative Stimulus

In a film about policing the permeable, traumatized boundaries between selves and others, Americans and replicant-invaders, it is significant that the plot should begin with such a violent act. Practically speaking, violence not only constitutes the action in the “action film,” it stimulates further action and therefore drives narrative trajectories like the one Deckard follows as a salaried killer. Ridley Scott is unusually skilled at mobilizing this strategy, evidenced by the opening swordfight in The Duellists (1977), the eruption of a creature from a man’s stomach during a meal that motivates the action in Alien (1979), the stabbings carried out by Yakuza hit men in the opening restaurant scene of Black Rain (1989), the sexual assault and revenge killing outside the roadhouse that motivates the action in Thelma and Louise (1991; see Russell), the murder of Marcus Aurelius that initiates the hero’s journey in Gladiator (2000), and the warlord shootings, interrupting the distribution of food in Somalia, that violently begin his Blackhawk Down (2001). The violence in Blade Runner, however, also plays a more thematic role. It agitates previously stable (however meticulously constructed) notions of selfhood. Notably, violence enlivens various characters in the film, especially Rachael (Sean Young), Deckard, and his nemesis Roy (Rutger Hauer), to re-examine the violent or complicit roles they play in the larger late-capitalist economy for which they have sacrificed so much, including the protagonist’s marriage and his emotions: “Replicants weren’t supposed to have feelings, neither were Blade Runners,” Deckard says in his voiceover. That is, as Judith Herman suggests:

Traumatic events call into question basic human relationships. They breach the attachments of family, friendship, love and community. They shatter the construction of the self that is formed and sustained in relation to others…They violate the victim’s faith in a natural or divine order and cast the victim into a state of existential crisis. (51)

Family and friendship have no place in the film, except in fabricated childhood photographs like the ones Rachael discovers are fraudulent depictions of a childhood that was never hers; love, too, is a complicated endeavour because Deckard falls in love with Rachael, one of the machines he was employed to kill.
Selfhood, the identification of the other, and the methods of literal and metaphorical border patrol that police these categories become, more than the film noir mystery, the central focus of the narrative. This shift results in human and non-human existential dilemmas: Deckard had been “an ex-cop, an ex-Blade Runner” and a “cold fish” to his “ex-wife.” In our first encounter with him, as the camera marauds through an outdoor food court, he is difficult to distinguish from the masses of people who surround him. As he comes into focus, we see that he is, tellingly, scanning the Help Wanted ads for his next role, leaving us to ponder, who is he now? Interestingly, Giuliana Bruno links the replicants with schizophrenia, a psychological condition she defines as “the inability to experience the persistence of the ‘I’ over time” resulting in a “perpetual present” (189). Deckard, it seems, suffers from this condition at least as severely as those he polices. He is ex-everything, and soon-to-be-nothing. He lives, like the late-capitalist landscape he inhabits, with “no conceivable future on the horizon” (Jameson 119). Does he have a place in society when he is not a fierce oppressor of the illegitimate, undocumented workforce – the “little people” he threatens, in one scene, with liquor violation fines, and the replicants he threatens with death? What will be his function if the replicant workers achieve equal opportunity status? What would be the result of his identification with them as equals? After all, their fears of mortality, their immobility, their suffering, and their existential questions are the same as his own. Does Deckard enact power, given that he is an extension of the state, or is he, himself, a slave to his utilitarian function within the repressive apparatus? In short, who is he without his other?

IV. Fears of Falling

Such questions haunt those in middle class professions who fear being subsumed by the underclass and who begin questioning the extent to which they themselves differ from the “little people.” Just as the Freudian infant, whose cry summons its mother, feels both omnipotent when she arrives with the breast or the blanket, and fearful about losing its potency if one day she does not, Deckard oscillates between these conflicting sensations of supremacy and insecurity. Even though patrolling the border between those in power and those who service them is the central activity performed by the authority figures in the film, still the distinction breaks down, and the borders become permeable. Deckard, one such figure of authority, is always also a servant to the power structure he represents, as we see when he submits to the Police Chief Bryant’s (M. Emmet Walsh) request that he return from retirement to hunt down Leon and the other escaped replicants:

Bryant: This is a bad one, the worst yet. I need the old Blade Runner. I need your magic.
Deckard: I was quit when I walked in here [pauses]. I’m twice as quit now. See ya, Bryant.
Bryant: Stop right where you are! [Deckard freezes at the hard tone.] You know the score pal. When you’re not a cop, you’re little people.
Deckard: [turning around] Forgot there for a minute about the little people. No choice, I guess.
Bryant: No choice, pal. (Fancher 4)

If the replicants have no choice about the length of their four-year lives, Deckard has no choice about the quality of his. He obviously despises his job as a killer, and yet it keeps him off the street and ninety-seven floors above it in his lonely studio, where liquor is his pacifier. 1. His power in his society, as a white male representing the law, is also a type of powerlessness because, like the underclass, he has so few options. We begin to wonder just how distinct he is from the poor masses over which he ostensibly wields authority. Furthermore, since he clearly gives in to his captain’s rhetoric in the scene quoted above, we might also wonder to whom (or to what forces) Deckard is really submitting. Kevin McNamara finds it odd that the film never “open[s] onto the political power structure above Captain Bryant” (430). He suggests that “the omission of politics from the film’s world [is] indicative of the postmodernization of power” because “there exists no identifiable source” (430). Instead, “power circulates through sophisticated management systems that are so internationalised, so technical that they are beyond the control of any person or cartel” (431). Like the androids in its service, society under capital has, itself, become a machine. It operates without human agency, it seems, and yet it prescribes, with little flexibility, the roles humans must play within it. Bryant’s identification of a jobless Deckard with the masses of “little people” thus shocks him into submission: it stops Deckard in his tracks, eliciting angst and fear that he may lose the few “privileges of whiteness” he enjoys, and that he may become economically indistinguishable from the poor masses of Mexicans, Asians, Hare Krishnas, Arabs, and Skin Jobs he polices (431).

It is significant that Deckard is followed throughout the action by a mysterious character named Gaff (Olmos), whom the 1981 screenplay also names “the Mexican.” Gaff has an inexplicable ability to locate Deckard anywhere in the city, and he seems intent on antagonizing Deckard throughout his unpleasant mission. Like Deckard, we begin to have the nagging suspicion that, should he refuse to work amid these conditions, “his job would fall to [his] non-white subordinate, Gaff, and his social privilege would be revoked” (McNamara 431). Thus, Deckard, too, is a slave: a victim, however, of his class privileges, or rather, of his obligation to continue playing the role defined for him in society under capital, despite the fact that he has had “a belly full of killing” which has left him traumatized. Indeed, as Bryant tells him, he has no choice: if the replicants threaten American lives, the Mexicans threaten their jobs.

In this sense, then, the violent Leon and the other replicants are only the most recent menacing immigrants to arrive from foreign lands in Scott’s dystopian fantasy. Leon, Roy, Pris (Darryl Hannah), and Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) pose a literal threat to human safety through their vengeful quest for equal rights, but Gaff and the numerous other immigrant faces that populate the crowded sidewalks are also intended to appear threatening, at least to Californian livelihoods. Los Angeles is traumatized, then, from without and from within. It is the “Third World inside the first” (Bruno 186); those who once labored in Asia, the Subcontinent, and Latin America producing America’s electronics, food, and clothes are no longer peripheral and invisible, but now inhabit the city. For these reasons, the selection of Los Angeles, as opposed to the novel’s San Francisco setting, is revealing. In the “four years before the release of Blade Runner, 75,000 manufacturing jobs in the region were lost to plant shutdowns and indefinite layoffs, while ten of the twelve largest non-defence-related employers entirely ceased their manufacturing operations in southern California” (Soja 201). In the early 1980s, a “pool of undocumented workers – an estimated 100,000 of whom [were] concentrated in downtown Los Angeles” were used “to weaken unions and drive wages still lower” (McNamara 428). American workers and managers in California faced fears of falling that are registered throughout the action across Harrison Ford’s traumatized, angst-ridden face – fears that the film seems problematically content to exacerbate.

V. Conclusion: Blade Runner’s Class Consciousness

The influx of immigrants in the film, for instance, has obviously not resulted in a healthy multicultural workforce, but rather in form of “diversity based on segregation, a confluence of rejects and outcasts, the wretched of the earth” (Mueller 45). Here we encounter what might be the ideological limit of the Scott’s images of miserable masses: the film appears to be suggesting that immigration will convert American metropolises into sites of urban squalor. But perhaps the film is relying on existing anxieties to make a more progressive point: namely, that global capitalism will lead not to a classless utopia, but to a deprived monoclass. Its distinct cultures will blend together like the “mish-mash” of languages that comprise the “city speak” in which they do business, and worse, it will remain dominated by a miniscule elite, a polarization that leaves little space for Deckard, Bryant, Gaff, and the dwindling number of others caught in between.

If we put any stock in the latter possibility – that the film is critiquing the corporate organization of societies into dominant elite and deprived subaltern classes – it is important that Scott’s speculative city is a decaying and dangerous place before the replicants arrive. Most people with the means have left: circling blimps, targeting the wealthy inhabitants of the high-rises, advertise (in English) “the chance to begin again in a land of opportunity and adventure.” On the high-rises themselves, targeting the groundlings below, a “‘Japanese simulacrum’…which alternates a seductive Japanese face and Coca Cola sign” advertises (in Japanese) various ways to cope with life on Earth (Bruno 186). That is, the “beautiful, richly dressed, exquisitely made-up female Oriental [is] connected in the film (directly or indirectly) with emigration, Coca Cola and pill popping, various forms of consumption, pacification and flight” (Wood 223). We, however, should not conflate the advertising here: the blimps high above promote emigration and literal flight to the wealthy; the electronic billboards below promote consumption and pacification (figurative flight) to the poor who roam the streets, with the clear suggestion that some people can leave, but others must stay. Furthermore, the “go West” rhetoric, and the ostensible promise of peace and opportunity in the off-world colonies, is noteworthy. After all, a “paramilitary force” maintains order in Los Angeles, perhaps suggesting past race or labor riots (Lev 37). Contending with violence, pollution, and few economic opportunities, we might wonder why anyone of sufficient means, like Deckard, would remain.

As the borders separating Deckard from the human and replicant working classes break down throughout the narrative, it becomes clearer that, like them, he has no means and no choice. His fierce drive to make his time on Earth as comfortable as possible is motivated by a fear of falling that is strong enough to enroll him in the fight against the “little people” in order to avoid joining them as an unemployed policeman. However, despite the fact that bonds between replicants and humans are never meant to form, the work of the aptly-named Blade Runners, which aims to sever all connections between humans and their disobedient creations, becomes impossible. And although their function as “detective[s] is precisely to dissolve the impasse of this universalized, free-floating guilt by localizing it in a single subject, thus exculpating all others,” they fail (Zizek 59). No real villain is identified, not even the replicants’ creator, Tyrell (Joe Turkel), a genetic engineer and cybernetics tycoon whom the film represents as yet another alienated soul, sitting sleeplessly on his bed in his palatial room, playing a solitary game of chess while trading stocks on his computer – his pacifier of choice.

The guilt for the impoverished state of society circulates, therefore, in ways that even implicate our hero, who, before quitting, expertly served the repressive state apparatus, and returns to serve it out of fear. Furthermore, as numerous other articles discuss (see Kuhn, e.g.), Deckard comes to love Rachael, a replicant; moreover, he and his nemesis, the replicant Roy, become uncanny doubles. As Deckard hangs from the beam of a skyscraper with his broken hand losing grip, the mise-en-scene stages his fear of falling literally. In order not to fall, however, Deckard must renounce his hostility toward his other, and instead place faith in him. In a Christ-like act of charity and “human” compassion, Roy saves Deckard’s life in the final moments of his own, by lifting him to safety. In this climactic rooftop scene, which echoes the opening skyline shot and frames the narrative, Deckard and Roy stare at each other in a different type of eye exam after realizing that, in effect, both of them are slaves. Rather than seeking out difference in order to eradicate it, however, the gaze here, exchanged between man and machine, middle class bureaucrat-enforcer and working class laborer, results in identification. The film even contains repeated hints that Deckard is, himself, a replicant – why, for instance, has he remained on Earth? How does the Mexican, Gaff, predict his movements and know his fantasies in advance? If the replicants’ childhood pictures are fabrications, intended to provide emotional stability, why not Deckard’s, too? Because of these points of identification, the tacit boundaries between the classes that comprise American society are allegorically scrutinized in Blade Runner, which depicts them being policed in a violent, grotesque form.

Despite the fact that Deckard never “joins the replicant revolution,” a scenario in which the film’s class critique should culminate, according to Robin Wood, Blade Runner does more than exaggerate anxieties about undocumented or foreign workers taking American livelihoods (227). And despite its irresolvable plot and, in the end, somewhat ambivalent critique of American capitalism, this allegorical narrative nonetheless questions – perhaps without breaching – the borders between society’s dominant and subservient groups, and will continue to occupy a unique place in American popular culture as a recession-era vision of the future.


1. Alcohol plays an important but critically disregarded role in Blade Runner. Liquor pacifies Deckard in four key scenes: in their first meeting, quoted above, Bryant offers Deckard whiskey, which he quickly shoots back, when he anticipates Deckard’s resistance to the job offer. When Deckard visits the strip club where Zhora works, he threatens its owner with a fine. Clearly to pacify Deckard and fend off his threats, the owner supplies him with liquor. This exchange appears routine for both men. Moments later, after Deckard has violently “retired” Zhora by shooting her in the back, Bryant notices that Deckard is traumatized and implores him to “drink some for me.” And finally, Deckard’s domestic life is depicted as a liquor-induced haze during which he numbs his fatigued body, gazes down on the poor groundlings, and nostalgically plays the piano. If Deckard is a replicant, liquor may well be a control mechanism written into his program.

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Works Cited

Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations. New York: Schocken, 1988.

Bruno, Giuliana. “Ramble City: Postmodernism and Blade Runner.” Alien Zone. Ed. Annette Kuhn. London: Verso, 1995. 183-195.

Byers, Thomas B. “Commodity Futures.” Alien Zone. Ed. Annette Kuhn. London: Verso, 1995. 39-50.

Chow, Rey. Writing Diaspora: Tactics of Intervention in Contemporary Cultural Studies. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1993.

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Fear of Falling. New York: Perennial, 1990.

Fancher, Hampton. Blade Runner. First published draft. Burbank: Script City, 1981.

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish. New York: Penguin, 1997.

Green, David. “Classified Subjects.” Ten 8.14 (1984): 30-37.

Herman, Judith. Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. New York: Basic Books, 1992.

Harvey, David. The Condition of Postmodernity. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989.

Jameson, Frederic. “Postmodernism and Consumer Society.” The Anti-Aesthetic. Ed. Hal Foster. Port Townsend: Bay Press, 1983. 111-125.

Lev, Peter. “Whose Future: Star Wars, Alien and Blade Runner.” Literature Film
26.1 (1998): 30-44.

McNamara, Kevin R. “Blade Runner’s Post-Individual Worldspace.” Contemporary Literature (38) 3 (2000): 422-446.

Russell, David. “‘I'm Not Gonna Hurt You’: Legal Penetrations in Thelma and Louise.” Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture 1.1 (2002):

Scott, Ridley. Dir. Blade Runner. Los Angeles: Warner Bros. and The Ladd Company, 1982.

Soja, Edward W. Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions. Malden:
Blackwell Publishers, 2000.

Tasker, Yvonne. “Approaches to the New Hollywood.” Cultural Studies and Communications. Eds. James Curran, David Morley, Valerie Walkerdine. London: Arnold, 1996. 213-238.

Veenhoven, Ruut., and Aldi Hagenaars. Eds. Did the crisis really hurt? Effects of the 1980 - 1982 economic recession on satisfaction, mental health and mortality. Rotterdam, Netherlands: U of Rotterdam P, 1989.

Wood, Robin. “Papering the Cracks: Fantasy and Ideology in the Reagan Era.” Movies and Mass Culture. Ed. John Belton. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1996. 203-228.

Zizek, Slavoj. Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1991.

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