Arts and Culture
Responding to the problems on truth claims of documentaries on communism in Southeast Asia and more specifically Indonesia, I wish to take a somewhat different position than hitherto has been taken starting my discussion of these films from a spectatorship perspective. The problems began when an Indonesian documentary, Mass Grave (Lexy J. Rambadetta, 2002), was banned because it was considered to contain communist ideology. Government authorities assume that facts are raised through narratives that tell of the characters involved with the communist movement in Cold War era and its aftermath. In this case, the key problem was found in narratives which were used as the basis for truth claim in the documentary. In a plot, narratives become an important thing to guide audiences; while they do the meaning making process, also truth claims. To investigate how narrative work into documentary though audiences, I first would like to reconsider how earlier research has defined what it means for the narratives in documentary. That’s emerged from Ib Bondebjerg (2014) who formulates of cognitive approaches to investigate the role of narratives in creating emotions related to documentary audience memorabilia. He formulates Basic Documentary Prototypes that determined each criteria of documentary through operational model builds on categorizations suggested by Bill Nichols (2001) and Carl Plantinga (1997). Such as prototype authoritative narrative of communism in a documentary, which is central for the arguments and the rhetoric of Mass Grave. It has embedded in a more personal narrative which is again connected to a network of metaphors and images that trigger our long terms memory and feeling of loss connected to a more idyllic past, to which the present development is a threat. Depend on Bondebjerg conception, the important thing is that narrative is deeply connected to the public agenda of the film. Furthermore, part of this agenda is also a more global mentality.
Keywords: Truth Claims, Spectatorship, Emotional Narratives.