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Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1756-4921
  • E-ISSN: 1756-493X



In this article, I argue that archival footage of the historical real constitutes the documentary’s unique truth claim and examine three instances of films (Amar Kanwar’s A Season Outside (1998), Mani Rathnam’s fictional Bombay (1995) and Rakesh Sharma’s testimonial documentary Final Solution (2004)) that use such archival footage in different visual economies of the indexical, iconic and symbolic, or in tension between them. As examples of films that represent communal violence in India, I compare their differing modes of invoking this footage aimed at activating a documentary consciousness that in turn addresses and creates a particular kind of embodied, ethical citizen/spectator.


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