The Matrixial Screen Encounter: theorising the inter-subjective gaze in the documentary practice of Kim Longinotto

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Abstract

This article considers how we can theorise the documentary practice of Kim Longinotto, a filmmaker whose collaborative approach means that she is closely entwined with the goals and aspirations of her subjects, who are almost always women rebelling against systems of patriarchal oppression. She also frequently credits her collaborators as co-directors. Ettinger’s notion of the matrixial emphasises inter-subjectivity and the erosion of distinct boundaries between subject and object. I expand this notion to form the matrixial screen encounter, a model that allows us to re-think the individualistic framing of the auteur, as it includes all creatives and subjects/actors involved in producing any filmic text. It also allows us to consider the inter-subjective gazes or layers of power within any filmic text as well as the psycho-socio-economic-political contexts of production and consumption. This model counteracts the notion of documentary, or any filmic text, as the product of a single creative vision and better reflects Longinotto’s collaborative approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalOpen Screens
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 9 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • documentary
  • matrixial
  • screen
  • gaze
  • power
  • feminist

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