What the past 20 months have unleashed underscores the urgency to center trauma and mental health in our ongoing conversations—and in the Fall 2021 issue of Documentary. This past winter, we published a first-person account from cinematographer Jenni Morello about her experiences filming in troubled regions—and her struggles to address the traumas that ensued. Morello’s story inspired us to inquire about other trigger-laden phases of documentary filmmaking, such as post-production. We also assess the impact the process has on protagonists, who have given so much of themselves before the camera, and on so-called “fixers,” who have been instrumental in navigating pathways through dangerous territories. And there’s also the audience, who may be susceptible to unsettling subject matter inherent in the work. Clearly, duty of care has assumed preeminence in the totality of the documentary practice.
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