Film as a Complement to the Written Text: Reflections on Using the Sterilization of Leilani Muir to Teach Muir v. Alberta

15 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2011 Last revised: 6 Dec 2011

See all articles by Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey

Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law

Freya Kodar

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

In this article the authors look at their experiences teaching the trespass torts to law students using a documentary film about Muir v. Alberta. The case was brought by Leilani Muir against the government of Alberta for battery and false imprisonment and for sterilizing her without her knowledge or consent. The documentary follows Muir's court case, and interweaves her personal story with the larger social history of the eugenics movement and the development of The Sexual Sterilization Act. The authors begin with a description of the Muir documentary and a discussion of the ways in which the texts, written and filmic, work together in the context of telling Muir's story. The authors then discuss film as a medium for telling legal stories. Finally, the authors reflect on their classroom experiences with the various Muir texts, and the ways in which the film assists them in teaching both the particular case and torts more generally. The authors suggest that complementing case reports with documentaries about them, or events related to the case, helps to provide alternative and sometimes counter stories to the official account.

Keywords: Study and Teaching of Law, Motion Pictures in Education

Suggested Citation

Adjin-Tettey, Elizabeth and Kodar, Freya, Film as a Complement to the Written Text: Reflections on Using the Sterilization of Leilani Muir to Teach Muir v. Alberta (2011). Alberta Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1932449

Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 1700, STN CSC
Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Y2
Canada
250.721.8182 (Phone)
250.721.8146 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.uvic.ca/faculty_staff/faculty_directory/adjintettey.php

Freya Kodar (Contact Author)

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 1700, STN CSC
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 2Y2
Canada

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