Documentary Testimonies examines documentary films that compel us to bear witness, move us to anger or tears, and possibly mobilize us to action.
Comprising ten new essays and a substantive introduction, this interdisciplinary volume examines audiovisual testimonial practices, forms, and institutions. Topics include: technologies of capture, storage and circulation; problems of historical veracity/frail memory; generation of video archives--official, renegade, and ephemeral; limits and potentialities of documentary as public record; architectonics of memory; ethics of witnessing and commemoration; human rights and activist publics.
The essays provide in-depth analysis of archives of social suffering tied to particular locales: Cambodia, Chiapas, Darfur, India, Indonesia, Korea, New Orleans, Norway, Rwanda, South Africa, and Washington, DC. The contributors focus on the generation and use of testimony by public administrators and institutions, human rights activists, documentary filmmakers, and others with interest in environmental justice, human rights, social advocacy, and the commemoration/prevention of genocide. Thus, this volume aims to investigate, from a critical and translocal perspective, testimony as social practice.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Moving Testimonies Bhaskar Sarkar and Janet Walker
1. Embodied Memory: The Institutional Mediation of Survivor Testimony in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Noah Shenker
2. "We Shall Drown, But We Shall Not Move": The Ecologics of Testimony in NBA Documentaries Bishnupriya Ghosh
3. Rights and Return: Perils and Fantasies of Situated Testimony after Katrina Janet Walker
4. From "Superbabies" and "Nazi Bastards" to Victims Finding a Voice: The Memory Trajectory of the Norwegian Lebensborn Children Bjørn Sørenssen
5. Reclamation of Voice: The Joint Authorship of Testimony in The Murmuring Trilogy Hye Jean Chung
6. Trauma, Memory, Documentary: Re-enactment in Two Films by Rithy Panh (Cambodia) and Garin Nugroho (Indonesia) Deirdre Boyle
7. On Documentary and Testimony: The Revisionists’ History, the Politics of Truth, and the Remembrance of the Massacre at Acteal, Chiapas José Rabasa
8. Mediating Testimony: Broadcasting South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Catherine Cole
9. Mediating Genocide: Producing Digital Survivor Testimony in Rwanda Mick Broderick
10. Between Orbit and the Ground: Conflict Monitoring, Google Earth and the "Crisis in Darfur" Project Lisa Parks
Bhaskar Sarkar is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is author of Mourning the Nation: Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition.
Janet Walker is Professor and former chair of the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her many authored and edited books include Couching Resistance: Women, Film, and Psychoanalytic Psychiatry, Feminism and Documentary, Westerns: Films through History, and Trauma Cinema: Documenting Incest and the Holocaust.