Another very interesting film from Peter Wintonick (if you have not seen Manufacturing Consent which he co-directed, you definitely should). This film is less cinematic and deals with its subject matter in a more straightforward manner than Manufacturing Consent, but the subject matter is what counts: how the handicam (and other communications technologies) are increasingly being used by the poor, the dispossessed, and the dis-enfranchised to protect themselves and their basic human rights. Also, the film explores the way that visual technologies (and images in general) have increasingly become a weapon in modern societies and how, since the introduction of the first handicam in 1985, individuals are using video to document their struggles, document human rights abuses, and generally to empower themselves. It is a fair presentation and does not fall into the trap of over-emphasizing the technology (it is an important tool but a tool nonetheless). There is also some discussion of why these types of images rarely make it onto mainstream, network news. My only criticism was that this film was too short... but that is not really a criticism as you should really see this film in conjunction with Manufacturing Consent. I saw this broadcast on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation's "The Passionate Eye" series and if you have a chance to see it you definitely should. A word of warning: a very small number of the images are quite graphic (but that IS the point... and it definitely is not gratuitous) so prepare yourself a little.
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