Ammar Almamoun | Danger as an aesthetic agent in Documentary Filmmaking

In the documentary film “Still Recording” – produced in 2018 –, “Danger” appears as the agent affecting the story, cinematic and storytelling narration style, and performance in front of and behind cameras. This goes to say that there are political, economic, and cultural factors posing a threat to “Stone” and “Man” which play a role in outlining the film’s aesthetics and means of conveying “the truth”, as visual material claims to do.

The research looks at the exceptional political circumstances which the filmmakers and the people in the documentary had to experience. These circumstances are the result of violent political practices perpetrated by an authority which either seeks to preserve “life” and “land” or threaten them. This alters the political definitions of the individuals in the movie, who can be divided into two categories: the "obedient citizen" and the "potential enemy". Under each definition, the form of danger changes, and along with it, how the image and story are built. Thus, the documentary film turns, in form and content, into an artistic expression on political danger, which can be sensed in the performance, footage, and space.

The research also focuses on the authority’s manifestations, its control over individuals, and how it managed to divide the Syrian space into safe and dangerous zones, where “manifestations” can be seen changing in front of the camera, as well as on how the camera eye switches between both spaces.

To download and read the research paper please click here

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