Documentary Film in Post-Authoritarian Societies


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Still image from the film Sunflower Occupation

How do societies make sense of their authoritarian pasts through contemporary documentary film? South Africa, Taiwan, and South Korea—all vibrant democracies today—feature rich documentary film traditions that investigate how histories of state violence, economic dispossession, environmental degradation, and political disempowerment continue to produce effects long after the end to authoritarian rule. Contemporary struggles for rights, livelihood, and belonging are refracted through past experiences of violence that are experienced and understood differently by various groups within these societies. These films explore the role of documentary in re-presenting authoritarian pasts and imagining new political futures. This partnership is supported through IU Cinema’s Creative Collaborations program.

This series is sponsored by the East Asian Studies Center, the Institute for Korean Studies, the African Studies Program, the Center for Documentary Research and Practice, the College Arts and Humanities Institute, and IU Cinema.

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