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Camera Documents Made at Home: Visual Culture and the Question of America

Minette Hillyer
Film History
Vol. 27, No. 4 (2015), pp. 46-75
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/filmhistory.27.4.46
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/filmhistory.27.4.46
Page Count: 30
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Camera Documents Made at Home: Visual Culture and the Question of America
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Abstract

ABSTRACT This essay considers three films made in the 1950s that used ethnographic images to educate audiences about contemporary American cultural life. The use of images in these films conveyed the idea that American culture was uniquely suited to change. Americans' apparent facility with the image suggested that American culture was at once under ascendance and in question. The films borrow images and practices from the ethnographic field to reveal one pathway for a process of visual enculturation that was characteristic of the postwar United States in which modernity and visual culture coexisted and encouraged mediated self-observation.

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