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A Companion to Contemporary Documentary Film

Alexandra Juhasz (Editor), Alisa Lebow (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-67164-1
696 pages
March 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Contemporary Documentary Film (0470671645) cover image

Description

A Companion to Contemporary Documentary Film presents a collection of original essays that explore major issues surrounding the state of current documentary films and their capacity to inspire and effect change. 

  • Presents a comprehensive collection of essays relating to all aspects of contemporary documentary films
  • Includes nearly 30 original essays by top documentary film scholars and makers, with each thematic grouping of essays sub-edited by major figures in the field
  • Explores a variety of themes central to contemporary documentary filmmakers and the study of documentary film – the planet, migration, work, sex, virus, religion, war, torture, and surveillance
  • Considers a wide diversity of documentary films that fall outside typical canons, including international and avant-garde documentaries presented in a variety of media
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors ix

Introduction: A World Encountered 1
Alexandra Juhasz and Alisa Lebow

Part I Planet 19
Juan Francisco Salazar

Introduction 21
Juan Francisco Salazar

1 Crude Aesthetics: The Politics of Oil Documentaries 28
Imre Szeman

2 Anticipatory Modes of Futuring Planetary Change in Documentary Film 43
Juan Francisco Salazar

3 Projecting Sea Level Rise: Documentary Film and Other Geolocative Technologies 61
Janet Walker

Part II Migration 87
Anikó Imre

Introduction 89
Anikó Imre

4 Videogeographies 92
Ursula Biemann

5 Rates of Exchange: Human Trafficking and the Global Marketplace 108
Leshu Torchin

6 Documenting What? Auto-Theory and Migratory Aesthetics 124
Mieke Bal

Part III Work 145
Silke Panse

Introduction 147
Silke Panse

7 The Work of the Documentary Protagonist: The Material Labor of Aesthetics 155
Silke Panse

8 Old School Capitalism in Post-Socialism: The Struggles of ?elimir ?ilnik’s Workers 176
Ewa Mazierska

9 Capturing the Labors of Sex Work: The Pedagogical Role of Documentary Film 191
Anna E. Ward

Part IV Sex 209
Laura Hyun Yi Kang

Introduction 211
Laura Hyun Yi Kang

10 Documentary Practice and Transnational Feminist Theory: The Visibility of FGC 217
Patricia White

11 Transforming Terror: Documentary Poetics in Lourdes Portillo’s Señorita Extraviada (2001) 233
Rosa-Linda Fregoso

12 Reading Realness: Paris Is Burning, Wildness, and Queer and Transgender Documentary Practice 252
Eve Oishi

Part V Virus 271
Bishnupriya Ghosh

Introduction 273
Bishnupriya Ghosh

13 Animating Informatics: Scientific Discovery Through Documentary Film 280
Kirsten Ostherr

14 HIV on Documentary Television in Post-Apartheid South Africa 298
Rebecca Hodes

15 Digital AIDS Documentary: Webs, Rooms, Viruses, and Quilts 314
Alexandra Juhasz

Part VI Religion 335
Alexandra Juhasz and Alisa Lebow

Introduction 337
Alexandra Juhasz and Alisa Lebow

16 Rising in the East, Sett(l)ing in the West: The Emergence of Buddhism as Contemporary Documentary Subject 341
Angelica Fenner

17 The New Religious Wave in Israeli Documentary Cinema: Negotiating Jewish Fundamentalism During the Second Intifada 366
Raya Morag

18 Tran Van Thuy’s Story of Kindness: Spirituality and Political Discourse 384
Dean Wilson

Part VII War 401
Jeffrey Skoller

Introduction 403
Jeffrey Skoller

19 Second Thoughts on “The Production of Outrage: The Iraq War and the Radical Documentary Tradition” 410
Jane M. Gaines

20 One, Two, Three Montages … Harun Farocki’s War Documentaries 431
Nora M. Alter

21 The Unwar Film 454
Alisa Lebow

Part VIII Torture 475
Alisa Lebow

Introduction 477
Alisa Lebow

22 (In)visible Evidence: The Representability of Torture 482
Susana de Sousa Dias

23 Interviewing the Devil: Interrogating Masters of the Cambodian Genocide 506
Deirdre Boyle

24 The Female Perpetrator: La Flaca Alejandra and Operation Atropos 524
Macarena Gómez-Barris

25 Toward the Dark Side: Seeing Detainee Bodies in Documentary Film 536
Anjali Nath

Part IX Surveillance 557
Elizabeth Cowie

Introduction 559
Elizabeth Cowie

26 Architectures of Control and Points of Resistance: Surveillance Culture and Digital Documentaries 566
Sharon Lin Tay

27 The World Viewed: Documentary Observing and the Culture of Surveillance 580
Elizabeth Cowie

28 Surveillance in the Service of Narrative 611
Brian Winston

29 Face Blind: Documentary Media and Subversion of Surveillance 629
Patrik Sjöberg

Index 647

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Author Information

Alexandra Juhasz is Professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College. She is the author of AIDS TV (1995), Women of Vision (2001), F is for Phony: Fake Documentary and Truth’s Undoing, co-edited with Jesse Lerner (2005), and Learning from YouTube (2011). Dr. Juhasz is also the producer of the fake documentary feature films The Watermelon Woman (1997) and The Owls (2010), as well as many “real” documentaries.

Alisa Lebow is a Reader in Film Studies at the University of Sussex. Her publications include First Person Jewish (2008) and The Cinema of Me (2012) and numerous articles on aspects of documentary ranging from art and documentary to questions of “the political” in documentary. Lebow has also made several documentaries including Outlaw (1994), Treyf (1998), and For the Record: The World Tribunal on Iraq (2006).

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Reviews

“This collection is the very best of companions to have on a journey through contemporary documentary film. Edited by two of the smartest thinkers/practitioners around, and with an equally lively cast of authors, this book is required reading.”

 

Faye Ginsburg, New York University

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