Injustice Narratives in a Post-Truth Society: Emotional Discourses and Emotional Engagement in "Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four"

Larke-Walsh, George S. (2020) Injustice Narratives in a Post-Truth Society: Emotional Discourses and Emotional Engagement in "Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four". Studies in Documentary Film. ISSN 1750-3280

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Abstract

This article discusses Southwest of Salem: the story of the San Antonio four (2016, Deborah Esquinazi) as a feature-length example of the injustice narrative documentary and studies the links between its narrative strategies and emotional engagement using the principles of cognitive theory to explain the diverse ways such a film can be received by viewers. Despite its long history and popularity in journalism, literature, film and television, the true crime genre and its subcategories have rarely earned critical praise or value. The intention here is to discuss how we can value this documentary and others for the ways they encourage emotional engagement, not as a strategy designed merely for entertainment, but to encourage critical debate on the infallibilities of institutional discourses, especially the manipulation of emotion in the legal system. As a consequence, this article will argue injustice narrative documentaries are not simply cliched and voyeuristic sensationalism, but instead have a valid social purpose.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Media > Film
Media > Media and Cultural Studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries
Depositing User: George Larke-Walsh
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 14:37
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2021 14:45
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/12993

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