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The Right to Play OneselfLooking Back on Documentary Film$
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Thomas Waugh

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816645862

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816645862.001.0001

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Joris Ivens and the Legacy of Committed Documentary (1999)

Joris Ivens and the Legacy of Committed Documentary (1999)

(p.267) 10 Joris Ivens and the Legacy of Committed Documentary (1999)
The Right to Play Oneself

Thomas Waugh

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter outlines the legacy of filmmaker Joris Ivens on the genre of committed documentary. It analyzes six films made and influenced by Ivens: Misére au Borinage, Indonesia Calling, Le Jolimois de mai, Doctors, Liars, and Women: AIDS Activists Say No to Cosmo, A Narmada Diary, and A Place Called Chiapas. These films reflect the radical disjunctures in the political and cultural history of the century and the evolving agendas and constituencies of the Left. They testify also to the remarkable continuity in the textual and political strategies of artists in that history: artists making documentaries to change the world. These six works constitute not only documents of collective actions of public defiance but also performative engagements with those collective actions, active interventions by filmmakers, and consequently by spectators into the political worlds of the films.

Keywords:   Joris Ivens, committed documentary, documentaries, collective actions, public defiance, performative, filmmakers, spectators

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