Persuasive Visions: Film and Memory

Jessica M. Silbey

Northeastern University School of Law; Suffolk University Law School

October 9, 2012

Law, Culture and the Humanities, Vol. 10, p. 24, 2014
Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 11-58

This commentary takes a new look at law and film studies through the lens of film as memory. Instead of describing film as evidence and foreordaining its role in truth-seeking processes, it thinks instead of film as individual, institutional and cultural memory, placing it squarely within the realm of contestability. Paralleling film genres, the commentary imagines four forms of memory that film could embody: memorabilia (cinema verite), memoirs (autobiographical and biographical film), ceremonial memorials (narrative film monuments of a life, person or institution), and mythic memory (dramatic fictional film). Imagining film as memory resituates film’s role in law (procedural, substantive and cultural) as authoritative rhetoric that must be disputed and reappropriated to serve the specific goals of justice.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: law and film, law and literature, memory, evidence, cultural analysis of law, film, criminal law

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Date posted: December 16, 2011 ; Last revised: February 12, 2014

Suggested Citation

Silbey, Jessica M., Persuasive Visions: Film and Memory (October 9, 2012). Law, Culture and the Humanities, Vol. 10, p. 24, 2014; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 11-58. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1972509

Contact Information

Jessica M. Silbey (Contact Author)
Northeastern University School of Law ( email )
400 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
United States
Suffolk University Law School ( email )
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States
617 305 6270 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.suffolk.edu/law/faculty/22481.php?InstructorID=819&Name=Jessica%20Silbey

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