British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Essay on Camera Work, An

Synopsis
As a tool for cross-cultural research and representation, video has many advantages over other, older technologies of documentation. It also compounds many of the ethical dilemmas confronting the ethnographic researcher, largely through its ability to turn even the most casual gesture into a curio, a commodity. This video essay explores these issues by interrogating the film-maker’s own experience as a researcher in Ghana. At a street festival a young girl is delighted to discover a video camera trained on her, but her display is cut short when she realises that the cameraman had already lost interest in her. Using the brief clip of the passing girl as a springboard, the film discusses the issues of control and ownership, differing cultural notions of appropriate application, and widespread perceptions of video as primarily a commercial medium.
Language
English
Country
United States
Medium
Video; Videocassette. VHS. col. 22 min.
Year of production
1998
Availability
Sale; 1999 sale: US$220.00 (+p&p) PAL version
Subjects
Anthropology; Media studies
Keywords
anthropology in the media; documentary films; film and television production

Credits

Director
Kwame Braun

Distributor

Name

Documentary Educational Resources

Email
docued@der.org
Web
http://der.org/ External site opens in new window
Phone
+1 617 926 0491
Fax
+1 617 926 9519
Address
101 Morse Street
Watertown
MA 02472
USA
Notes
American company with an extensive catalogue of documentary films from around the world in the areas of ethnology, anthropology, world cultures, religion, women’s studies and human rights. Supplied on PAL/NTSC video and multi-region DVD, or download via the Reframe Collection (qv).

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