Documentary ethics in contemporary practices. Alternative participation, alternative ethics?
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AbstractDocumentary scholars have presupposed a certain documentary practice, and have
ethically evaluated this practice, with a focus on the need for protection for a
vulnerable and ignorant participant. But times have changed. By researching the
experience of ethical challenges by both documentary filmmakers and participants,
through both a quantitative and a qualitative project, a practice surfaces in which the
participant is committed to and involved in the project; conflict between filmmaker
and participant is recurrent, but non-decisive, as communication, trust, and
commitment act as a safety-net. Hence, questions about documentary ethics need to
address this contemporary practice, rather than a past one.