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The cinema of me: the self and subjectivity in first person documentary

posted on 2023-06-08, 15:49 authored by Alisa LebowAlisa Lebow
When a filmmaker makes a film with herself as a subject, she is already divided as both the subject matter of the film and the subject making the film. The two senses of the word are immediately in play – the matter and the maker – thus the two ways of being subjectified as both subject and object. Subjectivity finds its filmic expression, not surprisingly, in very personal ways, yet it is nonetheless shaped by and in relation to collective expressions of identity that can transform the cinema of ‘me’ into the cinema of ‘we’. Leading scholars and practitioners of first-person film are brought together in this groundbreaking collection to consider the theoretical, ideological, and aesthetic challenges wrought by this form of filmmaking in its diverse cultural, geographical, and political contexts. The Cinema of Me is first collection of its kind, comprised of scholarly essays about first person and autobiographical documentary. It is unique also in that it takes a global perspective with contributions from scholars and practitioners from around the world. The introduction, written by Lebow, sets the terms of debate within the field of documentary studies and film studies more broadly. A further essay contribution by Lebow makes heretofore unexplored connections between a set of first person films and the question of migration. The volume is already being taught in documentary and autobiography studies courses worldwide.


Publication status

  • Published


Wallflower Press



Book title

The Cinema of Me: The Self and Subjectivity in First Person Documentary

Place of publication

New York



Department affiliated with

  • Media and Film Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • No


Alisa Lebow

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