A version of this essay was first published in German in Frederick Wiseman, Kino des Sozialen (Ed. Eva Hohenberger, Vorwerk 8, 2009, pp. 139-155).

1.While foregrounding this method of documentary editing, Rabiger warns against relying on the written word entirely “I should warn that using transcripts too literally also has some dangers. It can lead you to place too much emphasis on words and thus to making a speech-driven film.” (2004, 417) [return to page 1]

2. In Invisible Storytellers, Sara Kozloff deems observational documentary films engrossing and engaging because of the absence of voice-over narration. But she stipulates:

“In film, then, while there are major differences between having the camera capture an action and having a narrator describe that action, the ideal of blissful communion between the viewer and some untouched, untainted reality presented by a completely neutral mechanism is an illusion.” (14)

3. During a tour of the facility, the guide indicates that one in three American women is abused during a relationship, and that

“the F.B.I., which is not a feminist organization, statistics suggest that it is more like one in two women will be physically abused.”

[return to page 2]

4. As may be assumed, I rely on Laura Mulvey’s discussion of the male gaze which derives pleasure from objectifying the female body, here.

5. Many studies of post traumatic stress disorder in chronically traumatized people, from victims of prolonged captivity to women effected by domestic violence, speak to the inhibition of emotion. I suggest these for brevity’s sake: Herman 2004 and Elkin, Newman, Carter and Zaslav 1999. [return to page 3]

6. A documentary editor with whom I work calls this sound edit a “Franken-byte.”


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