Making Nothing Happen: The Transition from Reactive Nihilism to Affirmation in Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers (2005)
Anna Backman Rogers
Abstract: This article draws from Gilles Deleuze’s interpretation of the Nietzschean concept of “the eternal return” in order to read Jim Jarmusch’s film Broken Flowers as being not merely a study in duration, apathy and reactive nihilism, but also a film which, through its formal repetitive structure, also offers pathways to transformation and affirmation. As such, I argue that the central protagonist, Don Johnston undergoes a subtle yet crucial change in the course of the film from a state of ressentiment to affirmation and becoming. I also characterise the film as an absurdist quest or road movie.