First off, be aware that the film is difficult to watch at moments, including the very first scene. Please take care of yourself and feel free to skip over the scenes of violence if you need to. This raises the questions we’ve already talked about in class: when do images provide a necessary reality check and witness (there’s a reason the organization in the film is called “Witness”) to human rights violation, and when do such images only serve as “trauma porn” or to re-violate the rights of those being victimized. Feel free to comment on this issue in your e-response.
What does the film tell us about why or how the form of media can sometimes matter as much as the content of media?
The film is making similar claims re: handicams and human rights as Meyrowitz is making re: television. Both are dated, but what do they tell us about the various affordances of different media? What can they tell us about television (Meyrowitz’s focus) today? How can we extend their arguments into our current mediascapes — either in contrast or in similar ways — of smart phones, etc.?
As always, these prompts are intended only as a start to the conversation; feel free to diverge from them in whatever way you wish.