An Other Documentary Is Possible: Indy Solidarity Video and Aesthetic Politics

  • Freya Schiwy
Part of the Global Cinema book series (GLOBALCINE)


Some time ago, film scholar Jane Gaines wondered what “moves viewers … to do something instead of nothing in relation to the political situation illustrated on the screen” (1999, 89). Is what moves an audience created by the film’s argument or through its visceral effect and bodily reaction? Gaines suggested that “political mimicry,” that is, an audience’s offscreen continuation of the struggle depicted on screen, “has to do with the production of affect in and through the conventionalized imagery of struggle: bloodied bodies, marching throngs, angry police. But clearly such imagery will have no resonance without politics, the politics that has been theorized as consciousness … ” (92). Gaines draws attention to the way political documentary uses form and argument together to create a film’s impact on its audience, noting that this impact will be most effective if the audience is not neutral, not an objective observer, but rather already involved in creating social change. The political documentary in this sense appears as intimately related to activism as profilmic and postfilmic events, while at the same time such a documentary itself constitutes a politically creative intervention.


Social Movement State Violence Social Struggle Indigenous Organization Revolutionary Struggle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Vinicius Navarro and Juan Carlos Rodríguez 2014

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  • Freya Schiwy

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