ARC and CFMR Research Seminar: ‘The problematic relationship with perpetrators in contemporary documentaries’ (26/6/18)

The Aesthetics Research Centre and the Centre for Film and Media Research invite you to a research seminar with our Visiting Research Fellow Dr Fernando Canet,
Associate Professor in Film Studies at the Fine Arts College, Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain). All are welcome.

‘The problematic relationship with perpetrators in contemporary documentaries’

Tuesday 26th June 2018 at 5pm in Jarman Seminar Room 7

Recently a significant number of documentaries explore the memory of the traumatic atrocities against humanity in the 20th century. The originality of these non-fiction narratives lies in the change of point of view: the films’ protagonists are the perpetrators rather than the victims. The exploration of these documentaries, such us Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence (2014), Panh’s S-21, The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2003) and The Missing Picture (2013), Folman’s Waltz with Bashir (2008) and Mograbi’s Z32 (2008), allows us to address how different geographical and historical contexts influence the perpetrators’ construction of their memories. On the other hand, there are also common features, regardless of context, that could establish a universal profile for the figure of the perpetrator and thus suggest a form of transcultural memory. Moreover, these films call for an exploration of how filmmakers, victims, and viewers respond morally to the perpetrators’ personal memorization mediatized by these collective factors. Being involved with perpetrators can become ethically problematic when they try to justify their atrocities.

Dr. Fernando Canet is Associate Professor in Media and Film Studies at the Fine Arts College (Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain). He has been a visiting research fellow at Goldsmiths College University of London and at New York University. He is currently a visiting senior research fellow at University of Kent. He is the author of two books, co-author of another, and co-editor of three books, such as a co-edited book titled (Re)viewing Creative, Critical and Commercial Practices in Contemporary Spanish Cinema for Intellect Ltd. He has been the guest editor of a special issue of Hispanic Research Journal on Contemporary Spanish Cinema and a special issue of L´Atalante. International Film Studies Journal on Cinephile Directors in Modern Time. When the Cinema Interrogates Itself. His latest articles have been published in Communication & Society, Studies in European Cinema, Studies in Documentary Films, The Journal of Popular Culture, Popular Communication, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, and Journal of Film and Video.