Ethics, politics and representation in 'Child of Mine', a television documentary on lesbian parenting

Thynne, Lizzie (2011) Ethics, politics and representation in 'Child of Mine', a television documentary on lesbian parenting. Jump Cut (53). ISSN 0146-5546

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While many documentary productions involve difficult negotiations with contributors, these negotiations and interactions take on a different character when the filmmaker is implicated in more direct ways with the people being filmed either because, for instance, they are members of the same family, or in the example I will discuss here, because they come from the same community. The situation I explore in this article highlights the ways in which issues relating to consent and representation are sometimes determined by both filmmaker and subject having competing sets of obligations and motivations. Critics of documentary have examined conflicts between institutional constraints and political and aesthetic commitments in relation to various historical production contexts, notably the British Documentary Movement[2]. The program I discuss here, however, took place in a very unusual context as part of a lesbian and gay magazine series on a major UK television channel; as such it presented particular challenges regarding the ethics and politics of representation. The film in question was Child of Mine, a forty-minute documentary about lesbian parenting rights, which a production company called Fresh Films hired me to produce and direct for Channel Four Television in 1996.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Depositing User: Lizzie Thynne
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:06
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 03:24

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