Ethics and French Documentary
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In "Selfless Cinema?", Sarah Cooper maps out the power relations of making, and viewing, documentaries in ethical terms. The ethics of filmmaking are often examined on largely legalistic terms, dominated by issues of consent, responsibility, and participants' or film-makers' rights, but Cooper approaches four representative French film-makers - Jean Rouch, Chris Marker, Raymond Depardon, and Agnes Varda - in a far less juridical way, drawing on the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. She argues that, in spite of Levinas' iconoclastic, anti-ocular thinking, his concept of visage is richly applicable to film, and especially to documentary.