The role of curation and evidence in documentary film

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


As I produced a documentary film about tigers in captivity in the state of Texas, The Legend of the Texas Tiger, I learned that my legal background plays a central part in the way that I structure a filmic argument and think about filmmaking. I found that the metaphor of legal advocacy was particularly revealing in the examination of other filmmakers as well. In my discussion of Errol Morris' Gates of Heaven, Frederick Wiseman's Primate, and Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man, I examine the role of documentary filmmakers as curators of reality who present an argument to a metaphorical jury: the audience. This version of the truth that is presented to the audience often tells us just as much about the filmmaker as it does the film's subject.


The Legend of the Texas Tiger is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.



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