Radical Documentary and Global Crises

Militant Evidence in the Digital Age

by Ryan Watson

Published by: Indiana University Press

272 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 28 b&w illus.

  • Paperback
  • 9780253058003
  • Published: October 2021


  • Hardcover
  • 9780253057990
  • Published: October 2021


  • eBook
  • 9780253058027
  • Published: October 2021


When independent filmmakers document the struggle for rights, representation, and revolution, they weaponize film by advocating for a particular outcome. Ryan Watson calls this "militant evidence."

In Radical Documentary and Global Crises, Watson centers the discussion on extreme conflict, such as the Iraq War, the occupation of Palestine, the war in Syria, mass incarceration in the United States, and child soldier conscription in the Congo. Under these conditions, filmmakers aspire to document, archive, witness, and testify, resulting in a set of practices that turn documentary media toward a commitment to feature the people living through the terror. To achieve this level of truth-telling, militant evidence combines previously collected work with new digitally archived images, stories, and testimonials to impact specific social and political situations.

Radical Documentary and Global Crises reveals that to understand what a documentary is, how it functions, how it circulates, and how its effect is measured, filmmakers must accept that militant evidence has the power to expose, to amass, and to adjudicate.