Persuasive Visions: Film and Memory
Law, Culture and the Humanities, Vol. 10, p. 24, 2014
20 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2011 Last revised: 12 Feb 2014
Date Written: October 9, 2012
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.
Keywords: law and film, law and literature, memory, evidence, cultural analysis of law, film, criminal law
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