Ethical Responsibilities to Subjects and Documentary Filmmaking

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 25 (3):192-206 (2010)
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Documentary filmmakers have ethical responsibilities to the subjects of their films. Specifically, they have an ethical responsibility to prevent harm to their subjects if they are in a position to do so, even harm not directly related to being in the film. Justification for this comes from documentary's status as a practice of a social institution and can be supported by Utilitarian and Kantian considerations, as well as the Aristotelian discussion of practices. Three films, The Thin Blue Line, Dope Sick Love , and Born Into Brothels , are used as examples for the requirement to prevent harm to subjects. These examples cover several different possibilities of how documentary filmmakers behave concerning the welfare of their subjects and are evaluated in light of ethical considerations offered



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Ellen Maccarone
Gonzaga University

References found in this work

Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Philosophy 56 (216):267-268.
Practical Ethics.John Martin Fischer - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (2):264.

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