Rossington, M and Whitehead, A; Introduction: Memory and Late Modernity in “Memory” (ed. M. Rossington, A. Whitehead) John Hopkins University Press; Baltimore 2007
“For Nietzsche a dialectical tension between memory and forgetting, or past and future, is essential for what he terms ‘life’: ‘the unhistorical and the historical are necessary in equal measure for the health of an individual, of a people, and of a culture’ (p93, p104)
Nietzsche suggests that the experience of joy comes from a lapse of memory. When we forget and lose the baggage of our memory for that moment, we experience joy and this is how joy is defined. In film there needs to be conflict and documentary biographies this is an area where the filmmaker can seek out the conflict. The act of memory itself, according to Nietzsche’s idea is a conflict with joy and being. The filmmaker perhaps only needs to be aware of balancing the present with the memories of the subject in order to find the necessary tension.