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IMMEDIATIONS: THE HUMANITARIAN IMPULSE IN DOCUMENTARY
September 10 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm| $10
In her new book Immediations: The Humanitarian Impulse in Documentary, author Pooja Rangan examines the tendency for documentaries to render human suffering urgent and immediate at all costs. She considers this humanitarian orientation in films seeking to “give a voice to the voiceless,” an established method of validating the humanity of marginalized subjects, including children, refugees, autistic persons, and animals. At its core, the book asks: How does the pursuit of humanity become a trap that entangles both the advocates and beneficiaries of participatory documentary? What would it mean to realize the radical potential of giving the camera to the other? Would this also mean letting go of what we think the “human” is?
Filmmaker Brett Story, director of The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, joins Rangan, with moderator Paige Sarlin (scholar and director of The Last Slide Projector) to discuss these questions. Rangan will open the conversation by setting up some of the ideas from her book. Story will then consider these issues from the perspective of a filmmaker and prison activist, applying them specifically to the realm of the prison documentary. The event will conclude with a screening and discussion of a few films, including Space Ghost (dir. Laurie Jo Reynolds, 2007, 26 mins), and excerpts from The House I Live In (dir. Eugene Jarecki, 2012) and The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (dir. Brett Story, 2016). We are proud to present a night of thoughtful discussion on documentary and it’s relation to the other.