Reality Market and the Emotive Turn in the Scandinavian Documentary

Helke, S. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesKeynote or plenary lecture


During this crisis moment in European history, we are encouraged to re-evaluate the relation to the political and societal potential of the documentary genre. Scandinavia has a strong documentary film culture and its documentary films have been well funded and distributed. The increased expectation of commercial success and theater distribution of documentary films has also affected the ways the stories are told and the ideas sold in financing forums and pitching markets. In this article I’m looking at certain tendencies in Scandinavian documentary film culture in the last two decades. Can we recognize features of emotional capitalism as describe by Eva Illouz? Has the documentary film experienced an emotive turn? The emotional realm of life, personal growing pains and therapeutic perspectives and self-constructing projects have become ever more important as subject matters. Even the political address in many films has been anchored in the individualistic perspective, for example in films in which the filmmaker puts him/herself in a test as a consumer have become a prevailing subgenre even when tackling political or ecological subject matters. There is something revealing and problematic with the political address these films suggest: the consuming Self has been put at the epicenter of s
Period15 Apr 2016
Event titleConference Baltic Sea Region Documentary Cinema: A Social and Aesthetic Phenomenon
Event typeConference
LocationRiga, Latvia
Degree of RecognitionInternational