THIS IS NOT US: performance, relationships and shame in documentary filmmaking

Asquith, Daisy (2019) THIS IS NOT US: performance, relationships and shame in documentary filmmaking. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis investigates performance, identity, representation and shame in
documentary filmmaking. Identities that are performed and mediated through a
relationship between filmmaker and participant are examined with detailed
reference to two decades of my own practice. A reflexive, feminist approach engages
my own films - and the relationships that produced them - in analysis of the ethical
potholes and emotional challenges in representing others on TV. The trigger for this
research was the furiously angry reaction of the One Direction fandom to my
representation of them in Crazy About One Direction (Channel 4, 2013). This offered an
opportunity to investigate the potential for shame in documentary; a loud and clear
case study of filmed participants using social media to contest their image on screen.
In the space between documentary confession and the reception of a story by the
audience, a dangerous moment comes, in which shame can be received, perceived,
projected, internalised or imagined. The point of this research is to offer to existing
documentary theory a practitioner’s understanding of the processes which produce
shame and to establish for documentary filmmakers some practical ways to resist
and prepare against the rupture in identity that representation can cause those they
film. Engaging both theory and practice in pursuit of the same research questions, I
make a self-reflexive investigation into the ethics, affect and impact of representing
others, employing the mediums and methods of fans to answer their complaints.

All the films, artwork, documentation of the installation, sources, written work,
appendices and past documentaries referred to in this thesis can be best experienced
online at, the website hosting this PhD,
but are also provided on the accompanying USB drive.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Media and Film
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion pictures > PN1995.9.A-Z Other special topics, A-Z > PN1995.9.D6 Documentary films
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2019 11:01
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:48

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