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Intertwining gazes and voices: representational practices of minoritarian filmmakers in Vancouver

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
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Author: Nagai, Chiho
This thesis aims to reconfigure the practice of ethnographic filmmaking by learning from the insights of four minority filmmakers. Using renewed notions of authorship and creative agency, I explore each filmmaker’s approach to film production, as well as her relationship with her work and audience. Because of her unique sociohistorical background, I argue, she is able to experiment with a variety of representational techniques. Through ‘border filmmaking,’ she exercises multi-dimensional/-directional vision and speech, and strives to continually transgress and dissolve personal/social boundaries. Such intertwining gazes and voices challenge the conventional paradigm of ethnographic film, which has been built on notions of culture and identity as passive, bounded entities. Thus, I argue for a more experimental approach that stresses the negotiability of filmic meanings. I also argue that ‘shared’ ethnographic filmmaking must politicize the very process of production, which will consequently enable active dialogues in the academic and public spheres.
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