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University of Southern California

1. Fuhs, Kristen Elizabeth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth: documentary film and the socio-politics of justice.

Degree: PhD, Cinema-Television (Critical Studies), 2011, University of Southern California

This dissertation argues that nonfiction films whose primary discursive focus is on judicial proceedings or the administration of the law -– or juridical documentaries -– are an important site for analyzing the political, ideological, and epistemological stakes of documentary representation as well as for revealing truths about the legal process and the ordering of a just society. Juridical documentaries highlight an ontological similarity between documentary and the legal system that makes them a particularly rich space for exploring many of the key issues that concern both the law and documentary: the relationship between evidence and truth construction, the tension between performance and authenticity, the ethics of witnessing and confession, and the politics of representing social subjects. Combining critical theory, archival research, textual analysis, and interviews with filmmakers, this dissertation explores juridical documentaries as sites of narrative contestation, epistemological inquiry, ideological challenge, performative engagement, and social activism. By drawing attention to the sometimes-slippery relationship between evidence, knowledge and truth, it looks at how juridical documentaries mediate the construction and circulation of non-fiction legal narratives and condition their subsequent interpretation in the social world. By focusing on documentaries that challenge, resist, confront, and intervene in the legal system’s power to control these narratives, the following pages explore how juridical documentaries force us to reflect on the nature of partisan political power, the law’s moral authority, and our own responsibility for the maintenance of a just and democratic society. Advisors/Committee Members: Renov, Michael (Committee Chair), Seiter, Ellen (Committee Member), Gomez-Barris, Macarena (Committee Member).

Subjects/Keywords: juridical documentary; law; justice; activism; performance

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Fuhs, K. E. (2011). The whole truth and nothing but the truth: documentary film and the socio-politics of justice. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Southern California. Retrieved from http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll127/id/647446/rec/7411

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Fuhs, Kristen Elizabeth. “The whole truth and nothing but the truth: documentary film and the socio-politics of justice.” 2011. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Southern California. Accessed November 28, 2020. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll127/id/647446/rec/7411.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Fuhs, Kristen Elizabeth. “The whole truth and nothing but the truth: documentary film and the socio-politics of justice.” 2011. Web. 28 Nov 2020.

Vancouver:

Fuhs KE. The whole truth and nothing but the truth: documentary film and the socio-politics of justice. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Southern California; 2011. [cited 2020 Nov 28]. Available from: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll127/id/647446/rec/7411.

Council of Science Editors:

Fuhs KE. The whole truth and nothing but the truth: documentary film and the socio-politics of justice. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Southern California; 2011. Available from: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll127/id/647446/rec/7411

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