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Regimes and rebels

By Aija Helena Brzozovskis


The end of the recent Communist occupation of the many countries bordering Russia marked an end to the tyranny of illegal and forced annexation. Amid these countries are my parents’ homelands, the small Baltic nations of Latvia and Estonia. Their occupation contravenes many of the numerous Articles listed by The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (2008), constituting many acts of violation. \ud \ud As a filmmaker, I was unusually incognizant of these events, despite my relationship to them. My parents never discussed the war, while during the ensuing Communist era, information was conspicuously absent. However, this lack of knowledge provided the incentive that compelled a journey of discovery that resulted in the making of Regimes and Rebels.\ud \ud This Masters project is presented is two parts. The film equates to 70% of the project (52 minutes in length), whilst the exegesis represents the remaining 30%. The film is a ‘human rights’, ‘video diary’ styled documentary film about the Communist occupation of my parents’ homelands, Latvia and Estonia, and the resonating effect of the occupation on our family living in Australia and family still living in the homelands.\ud \ud The production of the video diary is contextualised by this exegesis, which concurrently discusses the burgeoning video diary format as the basis for making a ‘human rights’ documentary film. A discussion about the latter genre of documentary film ensues, encompassing modes of representation, followed by various issues related to production including: issues of aesthetics, styles, digital media, lack of evidence and subjectivity analogous with both filmmaker and audience. Next, work by other filmmakers in the ‘human rights’ genre, linked to the proliferation of Communism in Europe, is discussed and analysed in terms of production and modes of representation. The exegesis ends with my experience as filmmaker and an analysis of factors that arose in making Regimes and Rebels

Topics: Communism, deportation, documentary film, Estonia, human rights, illegal occupation, Latvia, museums and memorials, partisans, testimony, video diary
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:46647

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