After reading Nichols’ chapter on voice, I think it’s safe to say that “voice” can be interpreted as anything, as long as it comes from you. It can be an edit, clip of music, or a collection of images. Connecting this to Agents of Change, there were many literal voices throughout the documentary, but what made it interesting is that everyone came together to discuss one topic. For example, a piece of sheet music is a great example of voice because all of the notes are different (like the activists in Agents) but then come together to create an emotion (activists in Agents felt frustrated). Another example– a rollercoaster. There are different parts of a rollercoaster but people still enjoy it. In Agents, there were different people with similar opinions, creating the same experience. Also in Agents, there were multiple clips of music and specific edits, allowing all “voices” to unite.
Agents of Change did a really good job of addressing both the social and political climate from a social justice point of view. Different people spoke throughout the film explaining what happened on their end during the civil rights movement while they were in college. Several clips were shown of important people during this movement, such as MLK Jr. and Malcolm X. What I really liked about this documentary was how at the end we could see that there are still groups in colleges that discuss the matter of black rights. People are still willing to make that change.
After watching A Time for Justice, something that I find interesting is the idea of telling but not showing– it’s ironic because I’ve always learned when writing to show but not tell. By the documentarians doing this in this film, viewers get an idea as to what happened, but don’t necessarily get to the the entire story. I don’t particularly agree with this idea of not showing the whole story because when telling one, it’s important to make sure ever detail is included– maybe there’s an easier way to discuss “difficult” topics without having to show scarring evidence.
After reading Sue Curry Jansen’s, “Introduction: Media, Democracy, Human Rights, and Social Justice,” Jansen discusses how social justice issues have been specified in the media. One point that I thought was in important, especially to keep in mind for documentary research, is remembering to be empathetic towards the subject you’re studying. “Social justice scholarship shares a common value system rooted in empathy. This value orientation is expressed in the relationship the researcher establishes with the people or practices she studies.” (Jansen 2) When making a documentary, according to Jansen, empathy becomes a crucial role when working closely with the communities being documented- it’s important to just listen to what these people have to say and take in the information, and really feel for the person.
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