Making room for ghosts: memory, history and family biography on film

Kerreen Ely-Harper

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Abstract

The documentary film, Close to the Bone, which I made in 2012, re-tells history through the memory stories of my father's family: the Harper children, postwar British orphans who migrated to Australia in 1948. I was inspired to make the film by documentary's capacity to represent and transmit the lost voices of history, and it is this conceptual premise upon which it was based. Close to the Bone is a case study in how film can speak back to former public representations of the British migrant child by re-constructing an individual family story from autobiographical and familial memories. This article charts the research approach I used and the personal and methodological challenges that I faced when making the film. I discovered in the filmmaking process that the documentary memory film has a lot in common with the ghost story.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-114
Number of pages25
JournalCultural studies review
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2014. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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