Research Repository

LIFTED

Blower, Nicolas LIFTED. [Video]

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Abstract

LIFTED is a 60 minute documentary exploring the burden of trauma (PTSD) as seen through the lives of military veterans and their families. This practice as research documentary developed from an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre (UoE) and the Department of Psychology, and in the broadest sense is a shared endeavour between filmmaker, consultants and on screen contributors. The overarching research imperative is to deepen understanding into the interplay of ethics and aesthetics in the use testimony within film production. In particular with subjects suffering from, or deeply effected by, complex mental health issues (PTSD). The research seeks to build on the practice methodologies of filmmaker Molly Dineen and critical frameworks from the work of Shoshana Felman, Dori Laub and Patricia Zimmerman. The detailed research imperatives include: 1. the establishment of a safe space for recording testimony: literally, emotionally and within the form itself 2. defining a methodology in which contributors share ownership of their testimony 3. developing working practices that promote marginalised voices, without loss of dignity The research findings from the research and production processes, filming to final post-production and beyond: • the formulation of a new complex methodology for the filming of trauma victims based on a premise of shared ownership, established through idea sharing, production process transparency and an agreed sense of direction • an aesthetic methodology for the gathering of traumatic testimony, including on camera discussions about openness, what the contributors were willing to say, and the power to terminate filming whenever they wished • an exploration of the form of the documentary space, as seen is in the framing of the testimonials where generous physical space is given over to the contributors to express themselves • experimenting with the temporality of space in the structuring of the film, working against ‘storytelling’ conventions of traditional documentary form • establishing ongoing empowerment through the contributors involvement in post screening Q & As, bringing them safely face to face with audiences • empowering wider family members (unforeseen outcome), positively reacting to having ‘their’ stories told on camera, both on screen contributors and audiences members Dissemination: The completed film is being toured to marginalised and hard to reach audiences. After each screening is an extended Q and A with the film’s consultant psychologist, the filmmaker and importantly one of the contributors. The unexpected benefit here is that the contributors continue to feel ownership through their ongoing involvement. In a wider sphere the film is a tool to assist others within that group to express themselves and where appropriate seek help from mental health workers, charities and support groups. • To date there have been eight 8 screenings for hard to reach audiences in the East of England, including veterans, families, mental health professionals, armed forces personnel, prison staff and film makers • There will be an official launch screening of the film at UoE Lakeside Theatre in Spring 2020 • In Autumn 2020 the film will be available free to view as an educational tool

Item Type: Video
Additional Information: The first screening of the film was on 27th August 2019. This was however a closed event on a military barracks: HQ of 7th Infantry Brigade, Personnel Recovery Unit, Nottingham. The official launch of the film will be at the Lakeside Theatre, UoE in Spring 2020. Please note the film is available only from Nic Blower as a secure link. This is because it is embargoed to ensure film festival and TV broadcast compliance.
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2020 10:37
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2020 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27057

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