Documentary and the Lasting Impact of Reenacting Historical Trauma
Published by: Indiana University Press
What mental and physical distress do actors, camerapersons, and reporters experience when working on reenactments of traumatic moments in history?
In Political Camerawork, D. Andy Rice theorizes that the intense feelings produced while creating these performed scenarios, called "simulation documentaries," connect difficult pasts to the present. Building on his background as a nonfiction film director, producer, editor, and cinematographer, Rice analyzes performance techniques to gain insight into the emotional toll of simulation documentaries, including those reliving the Vietnam War, the US military's embodied training in California during the Iraq War, and an annual quadruple lynching reenactment organized by Black civil rights activists in Georgia.
Investigating the lasting impact of these productions, Political Camerawork reveals that, by performing a simulation of a traumatic event they didn't directly experience, those involved become carriers of the trauma.
Introduction: Reflecting on "Moments of Truth"
1. Being There Again: Reenacting Camerawork in In Country (2014)
2. Weaponizing Affect: A Film Phenomenology of 3D Military Training Simulations during the Iraq War
3. "Do You Want to Play a Klansman?'": Lynching Photography, Civil Rights Camerawork, and the Moore's Ford Lynching Reenactment in Georgia
4. Establishing a Black Affective Infrastructure: From Lynching Performance in the Hollywood of the South to Always in Season (2019)
Conclusion: Toward an Embodied Social Cinema, or From Point of View to Social Sense
"An innovative contribution to media studies that explores the embodied experiences of both performers and camerapersons filming war reenactments, military training simulations, and an annual lynching reenactment."~Wendy Kozol, author of Distant Wars Visible: The Ambivalence of Witnessing
"A unique take on the ways in which cultural memories are produced and expressed."~Patricia Davis, author of Laying Claim: African American Cultural Memory and Southern Identity